Giveaway! – New Release

Next week is the general release for my fourth novel. The Princess and the Odium is the final installment in the Odium trilogy. It’s a fantasy/adventure series with a romance between the leading ladies, Princess Aurelia Diarmaid and Jastyn Cipher.

I’ve written about the books in this trilogy before. This time, I found myself reflecting on what it took to finish a trilogy; something I’ve dreamed of doing and can’t quite believe I accomplished. I still remember the first seeds of an idea before I broke ground on book one. That’s the best feeling; when the idea is new and it seems like there are dozens of potential storylines buzzing around, waiting to be followed. Of course, the actual task of writing three books with cohesive and coherent plot points was quite a challenge.

The first book, Daughter of No One, introduces readers to the magical realm where the characters live. It’s a benevolent but strict monarchy where people can use elemental magic and have ostracized the fae population. It was so fun to meet Jastyn and Aurelia, their families and friends, and reveal their world over the course of the book. The second installment, Broken Reign, was possibly the most fun I’ve had writing, so far. It’s pure adventure. A journey across their realm in search of a cure leads Jastyn and Aurelia to new places and they come face-to-face with fae and other magical, mythological creatures. I introduced selkies, which I’ve only seen depicted in a few books (if you have recs – let me know!). One of my favorite parts of writing fantasy is trying to put a new spin on familiar mythologies, and I enjoyed creating my own version of selkies.

That brings us to the third book. My biggest challenge writing this one, aside from not wanting the story to end, was the fact that there are a lot of characters involved. Without giving too much away, Jastyn and Aurelia are reunited with their families. At one point while writing the first draft, I realized there were nine characters in the same place at the same time. My first thought was, actually, what the hedgewitch, Eegit, screams when she sees everyone together: “Out! Too many, out!” I was overwhelmed. Where does everyone stand? Who speaks next? Wait, where did that one person go? Fortunately, I remembered some wise advice from my editor about blocking a scene. While the advice was applied to fight scenes, I figured it could work for a conversation around a campfire if there were nine characters involved.

My main goal in this book was to give my characters a satisfying ending. Of course, that may mean different things to different people, but I wanted the story to end in a way that made sense for who the characters are. Often, particularly in a television series, the ending leaves me wanting. Characters make a decision that seems out of left field, or the writing seems hurried, or – my least favorite – it was all a dream. The Odium trilogy, I was determined, would not end in haste, or with rash decisions being made by the characters. I wanted an ending fit for the queer, fantasy romance reading community. An ending they (we!) deserve.

To celebrate the release of the final book in the trilogy, I’m giving away one e-book and one paperback (US and international) of The Princess and the Odium. Leave a comment with your favorite book series or let me know your thoughts on satisfying/unsatisfying story conclusions (book or television). Winners will be drawn Tuesday, April 13 at 7pm CST.

14 comments

  1. My favorite series (and there are several to choose from) is Jody Klaire’s Above and Beyond series. I read each book as it was released and then would (time permitting) re-read the previous books in the series to refresh my memory before delving into the latest installment. The wait between books was not easy and now the final book is due to be released soon; I cannot wait to see how the series wraps.
    As for unsatisfying endings, in TV series I notice that some start out strong and then go off the rails by discarding the elements that made the story popular to begin with: strong independent female characters are stripped of their strengths and suddenly need a man to validate their worth and mere existence, plot lines stop making sense and appear made up on the fly, chemistry between characters is ignored when it’s a same sex pair etc. In books the satisfying endings for me are the ones that don’t feel rushed or contrived and make sense for who the characters are at that point in the story.
    I caught your reading online from this book and added it to my ‘want to read’ pile right after. Thanks for offering this giveaway.

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  2. Hi Sam. I’ve learned to love series but only after they are complete. Waiting seven years for a resolution to Harry Potter was brutal. But then it could have been GOT where the series ended before the book. But I would have to say I loved Wicked by Gregory McGuire until the end because it didn’t feel like an ending. So for me I have a love hate relationship with series books.

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    • Hey! I like to think the long waits for Harry Potter gave me patience when I now have to wait for the next book in a series. Those HP days were agonizing, at times, waiting for the next installment! Wicked was a good book, though I must say I prefer the lighter, brighter musical version.

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  3. I enjoyed the Nexus Series by C.A. Farlow A Quantum Convergence, A Quantum Uncertainty, and A Quantum Singularity). I admire any writer who can write a series and not miss any loose ends! Congratulations on finishing your trilogy. That’s a wonderful accomplishment.

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  4. I generally prefer to read and watch series over movie or a single book. Bit what I intensely dislike, is when the series does not end on a good note. If I’ve invested the time to read a trilogy or watch 8 seasons, I don’t want a disappointing ending.

    Game of Thrones and Dexter are examples of this. Whenever I rewatch the series, I tend to only watch up to a certain point in the last season.

    But when it’s a good ending, I will reread and rewatch the series multiple times, with a smile.

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    • I just finished Dexter and couldn’t believe I put off finishing the series for so long just for that.

      Very true that when a series has a good ending, and it’s done well, it’s definitely worth re-visiting!

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  5. Congratulations on the new release; I haven’t yet read any of your work, but am now looking forward to trying just based on what you wrote in the blog. Thank you also for being so considerate with the approach to ending a series. It seems ridiculous to admit that I will feel upset over an ending, as if it is a personal affront planned by the author to ruin my day, but it really does make a difference when investing time and energy as a reader. And of course, it informs the decision whether to read that author again…*judgy and replete with revenge…* LOL.

    We hardly bother with TV series—once the writers start to run out of gas with ideas or logic we bail well before the end. As for books—Sarah J. Maas Throne of Glass was a favorite for a long time; she’s moving more into adult versions of same genre which is fine as long as you remember the explicit scenes are M/F, if that matters to a reader. For Queerish Lit, Mark Lawrence Red Sister series was gritty and excellent, Laurie Marks Elemental Logic series was bizarre and exquisite to the end, and Catherine Wilson When Women Were Warriors was a treat.

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  6. I love series. It’s always hard to wait for the next one or the last one but once it’s here it’s always gone to soon. Thanks for offering the free book and I look forward to reading it.(even if I don’t win)

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  7. One of my biggest pet peeves is when a series, tv or book, just ends with no conclusion. Like when a tv series is cancelled, and the last episode was a cliffhanger, or when an author just stops writing a trilogy after the second book and moves on to writing another trilogy without ever finishing the first. I cannot stand that!

    Happy to see that you are not one of those authors. Looking very forward to reading this third book!!

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  8. I agree with much of what you say. Too many books just seem to end leaving too many questions. I haven’t read any of your work but Rocks and Stars is on my to-be-read stack. This trilogy sounds very interesting, thanks for the opportunity to win a part of it. Of course if I should be the lucky winner of book three I would have to buy the first two to read first 🤓.

    I love series books. I’ll second the vote for Farlow’s Nexus series and Wilson’s When Women Were Warriors. For trilogies I’ll also add: Jackie D’s Infiltration, Pursuit, Elimination; D Jackson Leigh’s Dragon Horse War; Caren J Werlinger’s Dragonmage trilogy; Brey Willow’s Fury’s series – Bridge, Choice, Death.

    I also enjoy longer series. Two that immediately come to mind are Ali Vali’s Cain Casey series and of course Fletcher DeLancey’s Alsea series.

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