Getting Momentum on SPIRITUAL GOLD

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As usual, it takes me some time to get back into a book, especially if I’ve spent the first few days of the month distracted by something like, uh, I dunno, scouting locations for the book.

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But, now, after about a week of concerted work, I’m getting my legs under me. Blood remains in the water, but it is receding.

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Should I include an excerpt? Ah, sure. Raw stuff, still needs more research, but, here you go:

“Hey, hey, hey,” I said. “Why would you want me to use the isolation tank?”

“Because Carrington got infected after a spirit journey she took here,” Heinz said. “A journey which just might have taken her into faerie, given our current theory. And since I have the magical affinity of a wet noodle, and wouldn’t know a faerie from a star on Broadway—”

“Troglodyte,” I muttered, glaring at him. “Fine, fine, fine, I’m the best suited for this … this suicide mission—”

“No!” Wilz said. “If you really think this will hurt you, no go. I don’t need the liability.”

I sighed, then stared at Heinz.

“In my professional judgment,” Heinz said, “if this was a normal infection, one of the hundreds of people who’ve used this isolation tank would already have been infected. If this was a magical infection, you would already have been infected by your prior exposure. And if there’s magic here at all … you’re the most likely one to find it.”

“Fine.” I said. “Fine—”

“I … will show you to the showers,” Wilz said.

Ten minutes later, I returned from a quick splashdown, holding tight to my body a big, warm, white fuzzy robe provided by Wilz, as Heinz looked at me with quite the smirk. I glared at him, then turned the glare on Wilz, who recoiled in a mix of surprise and curiosity.

“No commentary!” I said, peeling off the robe quickly, bare to my metal bikini. “Zipit!”

Wilz took the robe, then drew his hand across his mouth, glancing at Heinz.

“Okay,” Wilz said. “We’d rather not have to flush this water after each use, so—”

“Don’t say don’t pee in it,” I said, pointing at him. “I know that already! I’m an adult!”

“Yeah, well,” Heinz began.

“And you’re not!” I shot back.

“I didn’t personally put Doctor Orleans in the tank,” Wilz said. “I don’t know what was said, so I don’t know how to recreate the conditions that she, er, he, experienced while in there. All I can tell you is to lie down, to relax … and to keep your head above water.”

“I hope there’s a headrest,” I muttered.

“There is,” Wilz said. “Let me help you in—”

The Epsom salt laden water of the tank was warm, thick, almost tacky as I went in. The tank made soft booming noises as I moved, strangely muffled by the outer padding. Wilz helped me straighten out to level, then guided my head down to a horseshoe-shaped rest.

The door of the tank closed … and I was left in darkness.

Onward!

-the Centaur

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SPIRITUAL GOLD in Progress

So this is NOT the cover for Dakota Frost #6, SPIRITUAL GOLD …

… but it is what I’m using as a cover for my Camp Nanowrimo page for July.

For those not in the know, much of the Dakota Frost series is written during National Novel Writing Month and the related Camp Nanowrimo challenges. For each of these, I take on the challenge of writing 50,000 words in a month. This month, I’m working on Dakota Frost #6, SPIRITUAL GOLD.

Now, this may seem far away, as the latest Dakota Frost out is, #3, LIQUID FIRE, available wherever fine books are sold. But, to reduce the gap between books – and to increase the coherence between books, I’m writing the next three Dakota Frost books and the first three Cinnamon Frost books together, as one, giant, loosely-connected, six-part novel.

Dakota Frost’s next adventures have the working titles SPECTRAL IRON, PHANTOM SILVER, and SPIRITUAL GOLD. Running just behind each of these will be Cinnamon Frost’s first solo adventures, HEX CODE, BOT NET and ROOT USER. I’ve finished rough drafts of SPECTRAL IRON, PHANTOM SILVER, and HEX CODE, and hope to finish the rough draft of SPIRITUAL GOLD this month.

At that point, I’ll start trying to get the Dakota Frost trilogy beaten into shape, even though it will take me two more Nano pushes (at least) to finish up the slightly shorter Cinnamon Frost novels.

Regardless, hope to get these in your hands soon. Wish me luck!

-the Centaur

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LIQUID FIRE on Sale!

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Good news, friends of the Edgeworld! If you’ve caught up on the first two Dakota Frost books and want to try the third, you’re in luck – the Kindle edition of LIQUID FIRE is on sale for $1.99 through the end of the month! Will our lonely tattooed heroine finally find a girlfriend? Will her daughter finally get recognition for her mathematical skill? And will the ancient cadre of wizards out to rule the world let them have a free minute to enjoy a frappe at their favorite bookstore … or will they find themselves fighting fire ninjas to the death in a struggle for control of the spirit of a hatching dragon? Read LIQUID FIRE and you’ll find out!

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-the Centaur

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Dakota’s Friends

No, Dakota’s not on vacation … I’m hard at work at Dakota Frost #6 SPIRITUAL GOLD (I’m writing the next 3 together to make the plot work out right). But her good friend Jeremiah Willstone just made her novel-length debut in our universe, so I hope yall don’t mind me crossposting about THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE! It’s steampunk, not urban fantasy, but also set in Atlanta!

-the Centaur

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Dakota Frost, Past and Future

Right now if you go to your favorite bookstore, the only three Dakota Frost books that you can buy are the first trilogy: FROST MOON, BLOOD ROCK, and LIQUID FIRE:

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But I’m hard at work on the next three, SPECTRAL IRON, PHANTOM SILVER, and SPIRITUAL GOLD:

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This isn’t an official cover, it’s just art by me based on other shots we had of the same model from the LIQUID FIRE and BLOOD ROCK covers:

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I know there was a long hiatus between BLOOD ROCK and LIQUID FIRE, but I’ve already written rough drafts of SPECTRAL IRON and PHANTOM SILVER and am 6,000 words into SPIRITUAL GOLD … not to mention having written a rough draft of the first Cinnamon book, HEX CODE.

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I’m hoping to get SPECTRAL out to beta readers around the end of October so I can start work on PHANTOM in earnest this November for Nanowrimo. Keep your fingers crossed! Or … if you’re not yet familiar with Dakota’s story, start here:

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-the Centaur

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It was a hacked .htaccess …

… which was an easy temporary fix. The site is safe, at least temporarily, but I’ll be working with my hosting provider and your favorite search engine to track down the open door that the hackers walked through.

Rest assured, the Magical Security Council is on the case.

-the Centaur

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A brief note on dakotafrost.com …

… apparently the site has been hacked. I’m working to restore it from backup. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, you can check out http://facebook.com/dakotafrost !

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Back to Work on SPECTRAL IRON

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Dakota Frost #4 is on the way … have no fear, it will be this year. Unless evil ghosts keep it away.

-the Centaur

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FROST MOON On Sale on Amazon!

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Like magic? Like tattooing? Like werewolves? Like feisty magical tattoo artist fighting off a charming rogue werewolf suitor with a stick, while the two of them might just be prey to a serial killer targeting the magically tattooed? Well, if so, you are in luck, because the first book in the Dakota Frost, Skindancer series, FROST MOON, is now on sale on Amazon!

  • FROST MOON – werewolves and magic tattoos and serial killers, oh my! for $1.99
  • BLOOD ROCK – vampires and magic graffiti and magic arson, oh noes! for $4.61
  • LIQUID FIRE – dragons and firespinning and fire ninjas, my goodness! for $1.99

I’m hard at work at Book 4, SPECTRAL IRON, and Book 5, PHANTOM SILVER, and even a spinoff series starring Dakota Frost’s adoptive daughter, Cinnamon Frost, starting with the book provisionally titled HEX CODE. So if you read these, I plan on having a lot more where that was coming from! I hope you enjoy!

-the Centaur

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Now THAT Was a Book Reading

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So my book reading at Books Inc in Mountain View happened, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. We had a lot of people show up – more than at first I thought – and there was a lot of positive energy from the people in the audience which made it easy to read.  (Note: I took pictures before the event, but not during, because I was the speaker, and that would be just rude).

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I actually was less nervous and stuttery speaking to this crowd than I was when I was sitting alone in my great room reading the passages I had planned. The thing I’m happiest about, however, is that I planned what I was going to read deliberately.

Normally I read, by reflex, the first section of whatever new thing I’ve got. But sometimes the setup is not that interesting, so I’ve tried reading really exciting bits. But that doesn’t seem to work either – people demand context.

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That led to a brainflash: I decided I should think not about what I wanted to read but what I wanted people to get out of the reading. I chose the first page and a half of FROST MOON to set the stage. At the last minute, I also decided to read a page and a half of BLOOD ROCK, filled with police, magic and vampires, to show progression in the world (and unabashedly to show off what I thought was a nice bit of writing). And then I chose to read the first half of a chapter out of LIQUID FIRE, tuning again at the last minute, to show off the action and adventure of “The Battle of Union Square.” People seemed to love it – I even got applause.

What’s more, the sequence of selections enabled me to talk about various aspects of the world I’d built – setting it in a time and place, making the action realistic, exploring consequences – and led into a really good Q&A session. Finally, I left a little time out to read the first chunk of THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE, which also seemed to strike a chord. At the end, we had a line of people for signing, including one who bought a copy of the whole trilogy; many of those joined us for a victory dinner.

Wow. I am so happy that you all came, and that you all liked it. You really made my day. Thank you.

At first I thought just enough people showed up to fill half the seats, but I was wrong – there were actually many more people standing and watching who didn’t sit down because they were late. I didn’t see them because I was paying attention to the nearer audience, but I know this because some of them came up afterward to talk to me … and others took pictures and sent them to me.

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What a wonderful event. I want to send my sincere thanks to Alex, the whole staff of Books Inc, and the staff of the upstairs Cafe Romanza, who have not only made this a great experience for me, but also have made this environment one of the best places I know to sit down, to get some good coffee, and to find and read a good book – or to imagine and write one.

-the Centaur

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