This month, on May 20th, the third and final novel in my WEATHER WITCH series, THUNDERSTRUCK, releases from St. Martin's Press.
This series has been vastly different in nearly every way when compared to my first series, 13 TO LIFE.
*The content in the WEATHER WITCH series is heavier, the background is historical in nature, the research done was more intense, and the topics touched on are darker than the books in 13 TO LIFE. There is not as much kissing and heat. There is very little snark and a minimal of flirting.
These people are at war--even if they don't know it yet.
*I tear my would-be couple apart early on--not typical in a romance.
*None of WEATHER WITCH is told in first person POV and there are more perspectives represented. It's the curse of being a social studies teacher, I think, I believe nearly every character has a story worth telling, the same way I believe every one of you reading this has a story worth sharing.
*I don't spell everything out because I expect readers are capable of filling in some gaps. We must be capable of making leaps of logic if we intend to survive.
*And there are no werewolves.
*But I love the WEATHER WITCH series more than many of you can probably imagine because the WEATHER WITCH world is far deeper, the culture richer (and perhaps more disturbing), the fiction based oddly on quite a bit of fact.
*I tackle abolition while barely addressing the stark horror faced by many Africans forced to work American fields. Why? Because you've heard all that before since grade school and sometimes the most important lessons--that ALL people have value, that ALL lives are precious--have to be approached from a different angle when we've been burnt out by the others.
*I bring up the issue of torture--something we're still trying to define in our country--and raise the very unpopular and uncomfortable question of is there some point--any point--at which it's acceptable to hurt another person in order to assure the comfort of others.
*I raise a multitude of questions and build situations that SHOULD make you uncomfortable.
*My heroine, Jordan Astraea, is not immediately likable. My hero, Rowen Burchette, is not immediately prepared to become a hero. They are, instead, relatively comfortable in their established societal roles. People are like that and it isn't pretty. That's why real heroes aren't born, they are MADE. They are forged in the fires of conflict and they all come to heroism at their own time and for their own reasons.
Or they don't.
Just as in real life, we only know what we can actually do when we're put to the test.
But wait until you read the very last few pages of THUNDERSTRUCK--my commentary. It is in first person.
But what you really want to know is what the buzz has been about over on my FB friends page:
It's an E-RIGINAL RELEASE??? WHAAA--???
Yes. THUNDERSTRUCK will release as an E-riginal. I was also initially surprised. But life is often a surprising thing and publishers always get the final call as to what format a manuscript releases in. Ebooks are the wave of the future (and, bonus--an item with no associated warehouse or shipping costs). Ebook sales are continuing to rise and much of my readership is technologically savvy. Besides, when we've released other e-only things (like Beasts and BFFs) we've gotten tons of downloads and quite a bit of attention.
So I will trust the wisdom of my editor and the staff at St. Martin's Press knowing they have a clearer view than I do of the market and their goals.
But yes, I, like many of you, still love the feel (and smell) of a real book.
THUNDERSTRUCK will come out as an ebook shortly and the WEATHER WITCH series will conclude (more or less...) and I will continue writing things for you (and for me!). I'm working on two new series, a standalone, and a string of short stories. No, I cannot tell you much more than that at the moment. And that's not all--my art is being displayed in galleries and juried shows. Heck, I even have a picture book in the works.
As much as I loved the WEATHER WITCH series and am just as sad to move forward from it as I was to move forward from 13 TO LIFE, still, it's time and, as I continue to evolve and explore my opportunities for expressing this creative soul of mine I hope you all continue to join me, learning from my experiences as I learn from yours. And, just as importantly, I hope that you continue to evolve and explore your creativity as well.
And here are links to THUNDERSTRUCK: Amazon. Barnes & Noble. Books A Million. Be aware--you will still see pages on the major online retailers that say "paperback" and "May 20"--at this point no paperback is expected to be released on that date--sorry for any inconvenience.