Assassin’s Dagger is out!

Between the coronavirus and a death in the family, it’s been a bad year for writing, but I finally have a new book out! Assassin’s Dagger picks up Sage’s story after the life-changing events at the end of Assassin’s Blood and takes her in a new and unexpected direction.

The book has a beautiful cover in a new style. I had the covers for the whole series redesigned to better reflect the changing trends in urban fantasy cover design and the mood of the overall story.

Isn’t it gorgeous? Here’s the blurb for the book:

Most estranged fathers would send an email. Mine sends a zombie.

The infamous dagger known as the Thief of Souls is now mine. Its seductive power comes with a catch—the blade is determined to control me, and I’m losing the battle.

Ash wants to free me from its clutches. He’s an ice-cold fae assassin who bizarrely seems to care for me, but can I trust his motives? A little voice inside me is screaming yes, but I can’t even trust my own thoughts anymore.

So of course dear old Dad picks this moment to crawl out of whatever hole he’s been hiding in for the last five years. He’s a dangerous necromancer, and he wants the dagger, but maybe I can use him. Because he’s the key to what I want most in all the world—if I can bring myself to pay the price.

Assassin’s Blood also has a stunning new cover:

Both books are available now on Amazon: Assassin’s Blood and Assassin’s Dagger.

Life in lockdown

To say that 2020 has not been the year any of us expected back when we celebrated New Year’s Eve and made our New Year’s resolutions would be an understatement. I bought my 2020 planner with great expectations of how its pages would fill with a record of my productivity, but months and months of it were left blank as time passed and the crisis deepened.

In Australia, we’ve been relatively lucky, with few deaths and not many cases compared to many other countries, though our state of Victoria is in the grip of a concerning second wave at the moment. Here in New South Wales, we are getting a tiny trickle of cases, but so far things are continuing along as “normal”, whatever that means in these strange days.

Restrictions have eased since our full-on lockdown from the end of March through to late May. Schools are open, as are restaurants and pubs, though with some restrictions. But many people are still working from home, if they can, and public transport is half empty. It feels as though at any minute it could all change again in a heartbeat.

This has been both a good and a bad time to be a writer. I was unable to write at all when things first got bad, overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster. I did a lot of reading in those early weeks. Every day, the news was so horrifying, and the only way to stop compulsively checking for updates was to lose myself in a book. When life feels like a disaster movie, what else do you do but escape into fantasy?

But after a while, I settled into the new reality, and actually found it helpful to have everyone home with me. My son was doing school online during lockdown. He’s seventeen, so he didn’t need my help, but we used to sit together at the dining table every day. He’d work on his schoolwork, and I’d write, and we’d both motivate each other to stick to it and get it done. Some days my girls, who are both at uni, would be sitting there with us, and it felt like a hive of industry. (Except my middle child is a terrible procrastinator, and her chatting would derail the rest of us!)

Lately, I’ve discovered the motivating power of the virtual “office”. I’ve been getting together with writer friends via Zoom. We have a little chat, then mute the meeting and get to work. It’s interesting how just having someone working away in the corner of your screen encourages you not to goof off and actually stick to what you’re supposed to be doing. It’s almost as good as having my little study buddy sitting next to me at the dining table.

I hope you’re safe and well, wherever you are, and that you and your family are coping okay with these strange times we live in. I’ll be over here writing, I guess, and hoping for better news for the world soon.

Assassin’s Blood is out!

It’s been a hell of a year for writing, but I finally have a new book out! Assassin’s Blood picks up the Thirteen Realms story where Changeling Illusion finished, but from Sage’s point of view.

So it’s a new story and can be read without having read the first Thirteen Realms series, but readers familiar with that series will find a lot of old friends in this book.

When Sage is caught stalking a beautiful fae assassin, he gives her a choice: become his apprentice or die.

Available now on Amazon!

Lucky number 13

Changeling Illusion is out, and it’s my thirteenth novel. Feels good to have another trilogy finished–even more so because I finally got to reveal the big twist in Allegra’s story that I’ve been hugging to myself since I first envisioned this series!

How do you bring down one of the most powerful fae in all the Realms?

That’s the question Allegra has to answer in this final adventure. Kellith, Lord of Summer, won’t stop trying to kill her and she has too much to live for now to go down without a fight.

Plus, the exiles of Illusion are relying on her to bring them home. If she screws this up, Illusion will disappear forever, and Kellith’s next assassin may be the one to take her head.

This one was so much fun to write! There are midnight assassins, betrayals, explosive secrets revealed and that HUMUNGOUS twist at the end. I’m practically rubbing my hands with glee, imagining people reading that twist!

Grab Changeling Illusion now on Amazon and return to the thrilling world of the Realms for the stunning conclusion to the trilogy.

My genius plan for getting a sleep-in on Christmas Day

Can you believe Christmas is tomorrow?? How the hell did that happen? One minute I was cruising along, thinking I still had time to get Changeling Illusion out by the end of the year. Next minute, I blinked, and it practically was the end of the year. Where did December go?

Anyway, I’m sorry to say it will be at least January before I can get this book out. I still have a couple of scenes to write, then revision to do, then the book has to go to the editor and formatter. So there’s still a good few weeks of work to go.

But at least I can show you the gorgeous cover!

I am going to take Christmas Day off, though. I have big plans to lie around, reading one of the books I know Santa is bringing and eating way too much Christmas pudding. And maybe playing a new board game with my kids.

Speaking of kids–I have a brilliant tip for you! Last year I decided to adopt the Icelandic tradtion of Jolabokaflod, which means “Christmas Book Flood”. Icelandic people exchange gifts of books and chocolate on Christmas Eve, then go to bed and read their new book and eat the chocolate. How perfect is that? Could there be a better tradition??

We all enjoyed it so much that we’re doing it again this year. And the best thing about it? My kids were so tired from sitting up late reading that they slept in, so I got to lie in until nine in the morning on Christmas Day. Evil genius for the win!

Look at my cute Jolabokaflod tree:

If you celebrate Christmas and your kids are old enough to read, I thoroughly recommend adopting the tradition at your house too!  Do you have any fun Christmas traditions in your family? What are they?

Hope you have a safe and happy festive season, however you celebrate. Me? I’m off to bed to eat my chocolate and read my new book!

Caged Lightning is out!

Lexi is back for the final instalment in the Shadows of the Immortals. Magic! Adventure! Gods and monsters! Will Lexi find out who is the mastermind behind the shadow shapers? Will she get her man? Will Zeus get his body back (and will it be wearing undies)?

For the answers to these and other exciting questions, grab yourself a copy and see how the saga ends—ebook available on Amazon now!

New covers!

The Proving series has had a makeover! My wonderful cover designer made fantabulous new covers for Twiceborn, The Twiceborn Queen, and Twiceborn Endgame. Aren’t they gorgeous?

I’m thrilled—I always wanted Karri to design the covers for this series, but she was booked solid, so I went with someone else. While I was happy with the original covers, these new ones are truly gorgeous, and the model has a gutsy go get ’em look to her that really captures Kate’s spirit. Same fast-paced, dragon-filled adventure inside, but now I think the covers reflect the action and excitement of the books much better, so I am one happy author!

Hidden Goddess is out!

Lexi is back in a brand-new adventure. This time she’s trying to save Jake and Hades, but there are a whole bunch of things she doesn’t know that are about to come back and bite her.

Yes, dear reader, I am once again torturing this poor woman. What can I say? It’s a writer’s job!

Available now at Amazon.

2017 plans (aka “when is the next book coming out?”)

So, the kids are finally back at school and I’ve dragged myself kicking and screaming out of holiday mode and started contemplating what the rest of the year might look like, bookwise.

I’m hoping to get four books published this year. At first glance, this might seem like slacking off, compared to last year, which saw the publication of five books: Moonborn, The Fairytale Curse, The Cauldron’s Gift, Stolen Magic and Murdered Gods. But The Fairytale Curse and The Cauldron’s Gift had already been drafted before I’d even published my first book, and Stolen Magic was drafted in 2015, so I had a great headstart on last year’s publishing schedule.

Unfortunately for me, my stockpile of novels is now empty. Everything I publish this year will have to be written this year (apart from the first 20,000 words or so of Rivers of Hell). So four books this year is pretty ambitious!

All of that is by way of saying: I have a plan in my head, but I’m realistic enough to know that I have a habit of overestimating how much I can get done in a day, and life with three kids tends to derail my plans with frustrating regularity. So I’m not going to be too specific about release dates. The next book out will be Rivers of Hell, book 3 in the Shadows of the Immortals series. Hopefully that will be out in late March or early April.

After that, I’ll be working on books 4 and 5, which should be out later in the year. That will be the end of the series. If I’m lucky, I might also be able to squeeze in the third and final book of the Magic’s Return series, The Fox’s Debt, before the end of the year.

In short, I have a busy year of writing ahead! Thank you to everyone who has asked when the next book will be out—it’s lovely to know that you’re out there, eagerly awaiting more books about Lexi and Jake and the gang. I’m having a lot of fun writing them. I promise you I’m doing my best to get those books to you ASAP!

I’ll try to keep the Books page of this site updated with news about upcoming books, but the best way to make sure you’re up to date with all the news is to subscribe to my mailing list. I send a newsletter about once a month, and subscribers are the first to hear the latest book news.

Teaser Tuesday: Murdered Gods

Look what’s about to be released—Murdered Gods, Book 2 in my Shadows of the Immortals series!

murdered-gods-small

Here’s a little snippet to whet your appetite:

It’s not every day you have a beer with the Lord of the Underworld. I’d shared drinks with him before, but that was when I thought he was a vampire named Alberto Alinari. Today he’d revealed, in spectacular fashion, that underneath the undead exterior he was actually Hades, king of the dead.

I was surprisingly unfazed by this discovery. What can I say? It had been a rough couple of days. Stealing magic rings out from under the nose of the most powerful fireshaper in the land, statues coming to life, betrayals and counter-betrayals … yeah, it had been a busy week. And we weren’t done yet.

The beer was cold, and most welcome after the oh-my-God-I’m-about-to-die stress of the fight outside. The wet glass left damp rings on the shining wood of the bar. It wasn’t like Alberto—excuse me, Lord Hades—to forget the coaster, but I guess it had been a stressful morning for him, too, what with saving us from imminent death, just in the nick of time. Alberto always had been one for the big, showy gesture.

“You going to drink that, or just push it around in circles?” the Lord of the Underworld asked in a rather testy tone. He was most particular about the pristine surface of his bar, which he usually kept polished to a shine you could see your face in.

I picked up my glass and chugged the beer, the amber liquid sliding down my parched throat, then slammed the empty glass back down on the bar. “Drink it.”

He raised one perfectly arched eyebrow. I’d always thought he looked like the stereotype of a vampire—dark hair swept back from a pale, high forehead, with a certain air of elegance in his clothes and manner. Now I wondered if he really looked like that at all.

“Another?” he asked.

“Please.” I watched him refill the glass, then rather pointedly wipe the bar clean of wet spots. “Unless you’ve got some ambrosia back there.”

“It’s overrated.” He poured some milk into a saucer and set it beside the beer. Syl leapt up onto the bar and lapped daintily at it. “Fine if you’ve got a thing for liquid honey, otherwise you’d probably find it too sweet.”

“I can’t believe we’re having this conversation.”

*Me either,* Syl said into my mind, her pink tongue carefully cleaning drops of milk from her whiskers. *Ask him what Hell’s like.*

[Update: Read the rest! Available now on Amazon.]