So it’s all happening at once in the world of my second release, Isla’s Oath. Here’s a summary in case you missed it…
Preorders are now available
If you’re a Smashwords aficionado, the link is here. But they don’t do preorders; instead you can add the book to your preorder and I think view a sample? I confess I’m not 100% sure. (I expect the aficionados will know this already.)
Advanced Reader Copies are now available
(for book bloggers)
If you’re a book blogger, Isla’s Oath is now available for review on NetGalley. If you are going to request it and haven’t yet read the first book in the series, Isla’s Inheritance, contact me and I’ll get you a copy of that too.
Book blitz sign-ups are now available
Again, this is one for bloggers (for now!). The Isla’s Oath book blitz is running from 23–29 January (you may have guessed that from the fabulous banner above, courtesy of XPresso Book Tours!) — you can pick a day in that range to post. There will be excerpts and an interview provided, and perhaps other things if I get struck with inspiration. There’ll also be a grand giveaway of a $50 Amazon or B&N gift voucher.
Phew. I’m exhausted just thinking about it!
Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter of Isla’s Oath, to celebrate!
“Ready?” Jack asked, standing beside me. He was wearing board shorts and a tank top, his feet bare on the sandy path. Blond hair stirred in the evening breeze, brushing his shoulders. He looked like any Australian male on holiday at the beach.
Except your average male didn’t have four-inch-long ears protruding from sun-bleached hair.
“I guess.” I took a deep breath, savouring the briny smell that evoked memories of vacations with my father. I picked my way down the path to the beach, sandals clicking against my heels as I stepped between the weathered log retainers. Jack followed. The plastic bag he was holding rustled.
When we reached the beach, I shook off my shoes and picked them up, hooking them over one finger. The sand was cool under my feet; the radiant heat of the hot February day had faded into a mild summer evening. “Where to?”
Jack pointed towards the worn, even stones scattered at the feet of the towering headland. The water pounded, working patiently to undermine the rocky bluff and send it crashing into the sea. A deep rock pool shimmered in the moonlight, connected to the ocean by a winding channel that surged and retracted with the tide.
We picked our way across the stones to the empty pool. I glanced at Jack. “This is the place,” he assured me.
I nodded, trying not to feel nervous. Jack seemed calm—his aura a uniform light blue, like a winter sky—and I resolved to emulate him. Or at least try.
I could have taken a sample of that light blue calm to help me relax, but I didn’t know how to do it without damaging him. That was, after all, why I was lurking on a beach on the south coast of New South Wales in the middle of the night.
One of the shadowy rocks in the pool moved, floating towards us. I jumped, staring. The shape drifted from the shadows into the moonlight, revealing it wasn’t a rock but a head, hairless and with tiny, round ears. Two solid black eyes opened wide, examining us for a long moment before their owner stood.
Water streamed off his naked body, splashing into the pool. His skin gleamed silvery blue and his chest was broad and flat, tapering to a narrow waist. He didn’t have a bellybutton. Mercifully, the water was opaque and reached the middle of his taut belly, so I didn’t have to avert my gaze from an ironclad confirmation of his sex.
“This is your half-breed master?” The creature spoke to Jack with a watery hiss, slow and deliberate.
Jack bristled. I stepped forward. “I’m Isla.”
The 2014 Australian Women Writers Challenge was set up to help overcome gender bias in the reviewing of books by Australian women. The challenge encourages avid readers and book bloggers, male and female, Australian and non-Australian, to read and review books by Australian women throughout the year. You don’t have to be a writer to sign up. You can choose to read and review, or read only. – AWW
As I blogged earlier in the year, I was originally aiming to read and review six books by Australian Women Writers this year. But by August I’d already done seven…so I upped my goal to ten, and as I write this I’m at eleven. Yippee! (There is one more AWW book close to the top of my to be read pile, but I doubt I’ll get there this year. It can get me started on next year’s challenge!)
There’s actually a twelfth book I read this year, but I’m not posting the review till next January, closer to the book’s release date, so I’m not counting it here.
Here is the full list, with links. These are some very talented ladies, and if my reviews have helped spread the word at all, I’m pretty happy with that. I’m especially happy as, out of these eleven books, six of them are by my co-bloggers at Aussie Owned and Read. <3
- Sleeper by S. M. Johnston (sadly this book is currently unavailable)
- Forget Me Not and Remember Me by Stacey Nash
- The Problem with Crazy by Lauren McKellar
- Immagica by K. A. Last
- Kiya: Mother of a King by Katie Hamstead
- Haze and Shimmer by Paula Weston
- Dancing on Knives by Kate Forsyth
- These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
- Cassandra by Kerry Greenwood
On Tuesday at Aussie Owned and Read I interviewed Shelby C. Madison, the Senior YA Acquisitions Editor at Turquoise Morning Press. She’s the one that acquired the Isla’s Inheritance trilogy, so give her lots of love! <3
In good news for those of you who might have a romance book (or one in another genre with romantic elements) looking for a publisher, Turquoise Morning press is opening to submissions on 1 January next year (and not just for YA!). Read more for details!
Originally posted on Aussie Writers:
Today I’m interviewing Shelby C. Madison, the YA and NA editor at Turquoise Morning Press, or TMP. Shelby is the person that acquired my trilogy, so of course I luff her. <3 If you’ve got a romance novel looking for a home, or a book in another genre, but with romantic elements, this may well be of interest to you!
I mainly deal with young adult, with the occasional new adult submission. As a whole, TMP looks for engaging stories with strong female protagonists. Within your non-traditional romance genres, like mystery or crime fiction, we like a romantic element to play out in the story. We find these characteristics engage our readers. Check out our submissions page for more…
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Title: Loving Avery (Bearville County Novella #1)
Author: Katie Hamstead
Note from Cass: I delayed this cover reveal by a day. I’m sure Katie will understand.
The Bearville County Novella series follows on from Papina.
The Clark and Davis kids are grown up!
Follow Rhett, the Clark’s second son, who has loved Avery, the Davis’ only daughter, for as long as he can remember. But after her string of high school boyfriends, and Rhett getting beat up at prom, Rhett decides going to college is the best way to start over and forget Avery Davis.
Except Avery finally realizes she can’t live without him. But is it too late?
Get the novel, Papina, that starts the series: Amazon
About the Author
Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush”, and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.
After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and their dog.
She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing.
Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an Acquisitions Editor to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.
I want to write something on the Sydney siege at the Lindt café, which ended so tragically early this morning. But at times like this, words fail me. When I think about what the poor hostages and their families went through my brain responds with a welter of feeling that basically translates to NOPE.
Still, I’m going to try and get something down here. Please bear with me.
I don’t live in Sydney. But I know the Lindt café—my son had a series of tests done at the Sydney Eye Hospital, just across the road from Martin Place, back in February. We had afternoon tea at the café; the food, drink and service were all excellent, and it was definitely the high point of our trip. (The photo above is one I snapped on my phone, probably giddy with delight … and sugar.)
I’m the sort of person that tends to take refuge in humour when I’m anxious or upset. Laugh or cry, I guess you’d say. When I heard about the siege yesterday morning, one of my first thoughts after I’d confirmed the whereabouts of friends who work in the CBD was, “What kind of madman has such a beef with coffee and chocolate?!”
So I tried to laugh. I’ve done my share of crying too.
The first thing I encountered when I logged onto Twitter after work yesterday was a racist tweet from someone purporting to be Jewish, tarring all Muslims with the same hateful brush as the gunman. The second was from the Australian Defence League, a bunch of bogan wankers who are our equivalent of the Westbro Baptist Church. Only dumber. They were attempting to incite a riot.
It made me feel sick, and the idea that there might be some sort of racist backlash against innocent Muslims filled me with dread. Aside from anything else, you just know that’s what this nutjob was hoping for—because creating that sort of backlash might result in young Muslims who see their hijab-wearing relatives hurt being radicalised. It’s a win for the bad guys.
Still, then something amazing happened. A woman on a train yesterday afternoon saw a Muslim lady take her hijab off and hide it.
Seeing this, another woman, @sirtessa, started a hashtag with the details of which bus she catches: #illridewithyou (Read more here. It’s powerful stuff.) And suddenly everyone was tweeting what bus or train they’d be on this morning, volunteering to ride with anyone who was afraid of retaliation.
This is one of the reasons I cried, you guys. Australians like to make a lot of “mateship”—that sense that we’re all in it together, and that you look out for others. “Mate” is defined pretty broadly at times, to include anyone you have something in common with. Some days I’ve felt like it’s all words. #illridewithyou proved me wrong.
It was breathtaking. It made me teary. And I’m proud to be Australian.
My thoughts are with the families and friends of the hostages that died, and with the surviving hostages and their families. I can’t imagine how you are all feeling right now. I hope those that were injured, including the police officer, recover swiftly, and that all the hostages are able to heal mentally as well.
I don’t take public transport, given the peculiarities of my circumstances. Still. If I did, I’d ride with you.
I’m part of a Goodreads group for Aussie readers and they’ve asked everyone what their five favourite reads of 2014 are. As I’m posting this I’m reading Endsinger by Jay Kristoff, and I strongly suspect that would make my list if I’d finished it already. But I haven’t. Sorry, Jay. :p
Because my list of favourite reads this year is about 20 long, I’m picking these ones based on the emotional resonance they left me with after I was done…
Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson. A combination of the creepy-ass southern gothic vibe and the unreliable narrator left me reeling when I finished this book. It’s the definition of a sucker punch!
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. This book stood out for me because of its fantastic characters, and the spooky atmosphere. It was the first book by Maggie Steifvater that I’ve read, and I’m going back for the rest!
Unhinged by A. G. Howard. I preferred this to the first book in the series, which I also read this year – probably because I find Jeb kind of annoying (ok, very), and he was off-camera for most of Unhinged. I dug the creepy Wonderland feel, especially set in the real world.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. Madeline Miller’s treatment of Achilles and his lover Patroclus is simply beautiful. By the end of the book I’d fallen in love with both boys, despite their faults.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. This book surprised me because rather than being heartrendingly sad, it was actually quite uplifting – if poignant. It was also my first John Green book, so I got to enjoy his clever, funny style for the first time.
I’ve been listening to The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne on audiobook (via Audible) and enjoying them thoroughly. The books are a four-star read for me because I have a few niggling gripes here and there, but they are lots of fun and the narrator, Christopher Ragland, is my newest crush. His vocal talents are amazing – and if his Twitter profile is anything to go by, he’s a bit of a honey too!
I’m thrilled to be able to share the cover to Isla’s Oath, the sequel to Isla’s Inheritance. As with last time, thanks go to Kim Jacobs at Turquoise Morning Press for producing such a lovely cover. Mwah!
Also, once you’re done admiring the cover, I’ve got two bonus memes sitting there below it. Both of them have teaser quotes from the book. (Also, I’m hoping to have some exciting news for both Isla’s Oath and Isla’s Inheritance this weekend. Stay tuned!)
Genre: Young adult urban fantasy
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Release date: 22 January 2014
Australia is a long way from the Old World and its fae denizens … but not far enough.
Isla is determined to understand her heritage and control her new abilities, but concealing them from those close to her proves difficult. Convincing the local fae she isn’t a threat despite her mixed blood is harder still. When the dazzling Everest arrives with a retinue of servants, Isla gets her first glimpse of why her mother’s people are hated … and feared.
But Isla isn’t the only one with something to hide. Someone she trusts is concealing a dangerous secret. She must seek the truth and stop Everest from killing to get what he wants: Isla’s oath.