Friday, February 24, 2017

Diamond City Trilogy Rebirth

In 2010, when I first dove into writing full time, I explored the world of the blue joy, a dark urban paranormal fantasy about a teenager name Fresco Conte. He had it all: top marks at school, football hero, popular with everyone... except his family hid a horrible secret. His beloved older brother, Daniel, had succumbed to drug addiction and disappeared two years earlier. Leaving Fresco angry and torn with grief over the loss.

He had no idea this addiction that took Daniel away was fed by no ordinary drug. Or that he, too, would soon discover the call of Wasteland, that most horrible and wretchedly delicious of siren songs.

It was the second book I was offered a contract on in my budding career, the first to a publisher in the U.S. And though I ultimately chose to go it alone with the Diamond City Trilogy, Fresco's story was such a huge part of my own I completed the three volumes quickly and eagerly and hit publish before moving on, expecting him to do what he needed to do now that I'd done my bit. Right?

I was drawn back, then, into the Hayle Coven Universe and the twenty novels of that world's first series, Fresco did his thing without much help from me. In fact, when I look back on it now, I realize just how little attention he received in my drive to write and explore and create. Eighty books and seven years later and I'm rethinking just how cruel that was of me. Though, if Fresco were to comment himself, I'm sure he'd shrug, unsurprised to find himself out in the cold like that for so long.

Bad book momma.

So, here we are, he and I, together again. And here I am, re-imagining the images for the series based on his hurts. After much contemplation and a heavy dose of courage, I took the leap and created these:

               Fresco                  Wasteland           Diamond City

AND. I'm not normally a boxed set kind of girl. But I decided to try it out with Fresco's series and see what people think:

Diamond City Omnibus

If you've met Fresco before, please let me know in the comments below what you think of the new covers (and what you thought of my darling Fres). If not, I'd love to hear from you. I'll be giving away a copy of the omnibus to one reader (as chosen by the ever-faithful at the end of Wednesday, March 1st.

When you journey to the Diamond City, be sure to say hello to Fresco and Daniel for me. But watch that blue joy trip. It's a killer.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentine's Day and Murder

I’m not sure what it is about Valentine’s Day that makes me think of murder. Especially considering we’ve placed such a specifically romantic weight on the day, all love and chocolate hearts and couple adoration displayed in every restaurant and jewelry store and candy shop.

Can you tell I’m not romantic?

Here’s where we (who follow the less cloyingly sweet and more deadly train of thought) get to the good part: there’s a history of the holiday that’s dark and rather disturbing. How delicious.

According to some scholars, the person eventually dubbed Saint Valentine defied Roman Emperor Claudius II. That most brilliant of leaders decided to outlaw marriage because unfettered men, free of such worthless things as wives and children, made better soldiers. Because cutting off your population’s growth is an excellent idea, Your Imperial Ceasarness.

Needless to say, this decree totally went against Valentine’s whole idea of love for all and plenty of babies to prove it. Didn’t end well for poor Valentine, though, did it? Claudius had the rebellious priest beaten and then beheaded. Yikes. Talk about dying for love.

Wait, though. There’s another version, too. This one says Valentine may have been cut down while assisting the escape of his Christian flock from the horror of Roman prisons. Brave and all that, but diamond ring material...?

The most touching—and appropriate to the Day (yes, I capitalized that on purpose because I felt like it)—says he was imprisoned himself and sent the very first Valentine’s Day card to the daughter of the man who jailed him. I wonder if she said she’d be his Valentine?

Of course, there are more benign origin stories, that of appropriated festivals and Christians absorbing cultures and blah blah blah. As a writer, I can’t help but imagine the sinister and dangerous legends are the truth behind all that bubbly and candlelight. Utterly charming.

All of this guesswork at history leaves a decidedly murderous taste in the mouth. Good thing death goes so well with chocolate.

Like cozy mysteries? Find the first in the Fiona Fleming Cozy Mysteries series, Bed and Breakfast and Murder, HERE.

AND because it’s Valentine’s Day, book two launches with a bang. Find Chocolate Hearts and Murder HERE.

Happy VD!