Looky what’s coming soon!
So you might recall back in January I was on a reading kick of haunted house stories and really wanted to write one (it’s one of my favourite tropes since childhood, and I haven’t written one in a while). I played around with a few things, but I just…like, I have so fucking much to do, and stories take up a lot of mental space now and have to simmer before they’re ready to be written, and creating a whole new world… Just ugh. I haven’t been able to do that on top of freelance work right now, so I wanted something fun in an established world.
And then I bugged Dina James about it, because she also writes paranormal, and surely she could come up with something related to a haunted house in either her Key to Hell or Stranger Things worlds. We’ve also been talking about doing something similar with Zara and Kyle stories at some point, but that’s early planning stages.
We have writing dates a few times a week, to help us both keep on track–that’s how I wrote Resist, and how the bulk of this new novella was written. And the result of our labor is now up for pre-order, with a release date of June 27! (It will be available in ebook and print, although ebook is just up for pre-order right now.)
A drafty old house, or the steps of a creature lurking in the dark?
A trick of the light, or is the shadow in the corner of your eye something more?
A natural wind, or was that a whisper in your ear?
Read two tales of haunted houses that are not what they seem from (evil) paranormal authors Dina James and Skyla Dawn Cameron.
In RITUAL, a novella in Dina James’ Key to Hell series, Kyle Carillron knows every trick across the realms when it comes to dealing with the supernatural. Once a demon himself, the vampire has seen it all. When a divine assassin, half-angel Sebastian, comes to him with a scrap of paper discovered in a supposedly haunted house where some teenagers are playing Ouija, he can’t help but roll his eyes. But the paper has an unfamiliar symbol on it, written in human blood. Very little on the planes mystifies Kyle, but upon investigating the premises, he discovers evidence of a ritual with far with deeper consequences than humans attempting to contact the souls of the departed.
ASHFORD’S GHOST follows part-time adventurer and full-time mom Olivia Talbot in a novella continuation of Skyla Dawn Cameron’s Livi Talbot series. Four months ago, Livi successfully killed the afreet who abducted her family and tried to murder her. Then she took over his villa and made it her base of operations/home, as any respectable treasure hunter in need of better digs is wont to do. But this house is haunted, and she’s starting to think the ancient murderer she used the Seal of Solomon to destroy might not be entirely dead after all. Isolated in the house by a violent snowstorm, Livi is trapped with a dark force gathering strength by the hour, threatening not only the safety of her family but possibly her very sanity.
Ashford’s Ghost isn’t really standalone–it’s directly about the consequences of Solomon’s Seal (and to a lesser extent, Odin’s Spear), and sets up both Zheng’s Tomb (#3) and some worldbuilding stuff for the untitled fifth book. So while it’s a fun, smaller story, it’s not one without importance to the series as a whole.
There’s another way to read it: my supporters on Patreon are getting this 40K word story (about 40% the length of one of Livi’s usual novels) serialized and posted over the next three months.
Part One on May 1, Part Two on June 1, and Part Three on July 1. All supporters at all reward levels get to read it.
Like the first two Livi books combine traditional urban fantasy with adventure, Ashford’s Ghost combines adventure with the haunted house trope, and I think it’s a lot of fun. You get to catch up with Livi, Pru, Em, Laurel, West, and a new character three months after the events of Odin’s Spear.
Ashford’s Ghost will also be available as a single release toward the end of the year (no firm date yet). I’m still picking at the third book–returning to late night walks/jogs is helping me sort it out in my head, and I’m trying to better hammer out the structure. I have the beginning and the end written, however, it’s just the slog in between that needs help.
December of this year, there’ll be a longish Livi short story posted for Patrons of Snark. It’s just something fun I wrote for Christmas a few years ago–Livi’s first Christmas at the villa, set prior to Ashford’s Ghost–that isn’t really something I’d sell? I guess? But it fills in a few blanks and if you’re a fan of the characters, I think you’ll enjoy it.
That’s it for Livi news for now. She’s still on life support for the foreseeable future, and if you can leave a review or tell a friend to check out the books, that’s always a big help. I still have some print books for sale, too.