Launch Day: THE QUEEN’S BASTARD
Sex, politics, murder and betrayal arrive with this re-release of THE QUEEN’S BASTARD!
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Belinda Primrose deals in secrets.
Since childhood, Belinda has known she was the unacknowledged daughter of Lorraine, the unwed queen of Aulun, an island nation on the edge of the vast Echonian continent. Belinda is a spy, an assassin…and a danger to her mother, should she ever be discovered. She can be anyone, and will do anything, to cement Lorraine’s position of power within the treacherous Echonian courts.
But as she infiltrates the glamorous royal palaces where her mother’s rivals scheme, a new power awakens in Belinda. The witchlight she commands is a dangerous aphrodisiac—one that could bring down everything she’s worked for when she finds a teacher in the sensual prince of Gallin. Javier harbors secret witchbreed magic of his own…and a claim to the Aulunian throne that ranks him highly among Lorraine’s enemies.
Belinda has never wavered in her mission, but love and loyalty will collide as her secrets are revealed…
This is a re-release with new cover art (and a few spelling errors fixed) of a book I published through Del Rey in 2008 and which I got the rights back to last year. It’s the first of a duology that tell the story of Belinda Primrose, the Queen’s bastard. Between the two books, a complete story is told, although it’s clear to any reader that there’s more in the world to tell.
It is not like my other books. It is full of sex, murder, politics and betrayal, in more or less that order. Its voice is completely different. There is at least one scene of Extremely Questionable Consent.
I do not tell you this to scare you away. I tell you this because this book sold like hotcakes upon its original release, and sales on its sequel, THE PRETENDER’S CROWN (re-release out next month!), collapsed so hard they almost took my career with them. My wonderful, loyal urban fantasy readers all went out and bought THE QUEEN’S BASTARD, and two-thirds of them apparently went “oh my GOD what have I gotten myself INTO” and did not buy the second.
I have felt somewhat guilty about this for ten years. :) In retrospect (and frustratingly, we discussed it at the time and decided against it), it would have been wisest to publish THE QUEEN’S BASTARD under a related pseudonym, because it’s so different from the urban fantasy stuff. But, well, hindsight is 20/20.
The good thing is that the people who bought TQB for what it was really loved it. There is a small, passionate group of people who have been hoping for ten years that I might someday finish the story I was building for this world.
Now that I have the rights back, that’s a possibility. It’s not going to be for a long time. I have a lot of things I need to get written first. But I also have notes and titles for the rest of the books set in the Inheritors’ Cycle world, and I’ve always wanted the chance to tell the whole story.
(I feel like I must again emphasize that I absolutely do consider TQB & TPC to be a complete story unto themselves. They end where they were always intended to, and the next book was always intended to be someone else’s story.)
I tell you what, though. Putting this e-book together was almost a revelation. I knew TQB was well-written. It was—it is—a book I somewhat self-deprecatingly called a real book: it’s not set in the modern world; its has a cast of, if not thousands, at least several; it does not rely on quick patter and one-liners and blinding fast pacing in the way the Walker Papers, especially, do. It was meant to be something new, something that showed what else I could do. And it succeeded. I knew it did all of those things.
But it had been years since I’d looked at the book, and when I opened up the file to make the e-book, I read the first sentences and I thought, “Holy crap, this is really good!”
That was, I confess, a pretty great feeling. :)
So…well. There you go. THE QUEEN’S BASTARD, backstory and all!
THE QUEEN’S BASTARD is available now!
Amazon || Apple || Barnes & Noble (Nook) || Kobo
THE PRETENDER’S CROWN
I have just received two early copies of THE PRETENDER’S CROWN. It is, in my ever-so-humble opinion, absolutely beautiful. In fact, it’s so pretty it makes me want to re-read it, which isn’t all that usual. :)
So! I have two copies. One must go on my Shelf Of Books I Wrote, but the other, I think, cries out to be sent into the world. So there will be a contest!
Ted has suggested a Casting Call Contest. I will be the director. You will be the Casting Agents. The book will go to the person who builds what is to my mind the best complete cast for THE QUEEN’S BASTARD. The integral characters, therefore, are Belinda Primrose, Robert Drake, Lorraine Walter, Sandalia de Costa, Javier de Castille, Eliza Beaulieu, Marius Poulin, and Sacha Asselin. Bonus points for also casting Dmitri Leontyev, Rodrigo de Costa, Irina Durova, and Akilina Pankejeff. And I’ll be really impressed if you also cast Viktor, Ilyana and the gondola boy. :)
The parts don’t have to be cast with current actors, I wouldn’t say, or people at their current ages. That makes it more fun, I think. :)
Here’s the catch: I only have the one copy to send out, and this post goes out at mizkit.com, cemurphy.net, mizkit.livejournal.com, Facebook, and if I can figure out how to make it work automatically, at Myspace. I expect answers will come in from most of those places, so you might not see the winning entry wherever you actually do your own answering. I will, of course, post the winning entry here.
Let’s see. I’ll choose a winner Thursday evening my time, so we’ll call the contest closed at noon EST on Thursday, April 2.
War has erupted among the five Old Races, and Margrit Knight is responsible for the death that caused it. Now New York City’s most unusual lawyer faces her toughest negotiation yet. And with her gargoyle lover, Alban, taken prisoner, Margrit’s only allies–a dragon bitter about his fall, a vampire determined to hold his standing at any cost and a mortal detective with no idea what he’s up against–have demands of their own.
Determined to rescue Alban and torn between conflicting loyalties as the battle seeps into the human world, Margrit soon realizes the only way out is through the fire….
Today is Release Day for HANDS OF FLAME, the third and final book in my Negotiator series! A bunch of people have picked it up already, but it should be available all around by now. If you guys wanted to do the same thing you did with TQB, and send it back to print by the end of the month…that would be good. :)
My esteemed agent,
/Jennifer Jackson, has a Nuts & Bolts interview up at Publishers Weekly, and talks about THE QUEEN’S BASTARD therein. (Thanks, Jenn!)
I’m tired of rain.
miles to Isengard; 225.7
ytd wordcount: 312,000
the hard part
I have rewritten the hard part! I–
…holy shit, guys. I just got email from my editor. You know how I asked if, y’know, you could try to send THE QUEEN’S BASTARD back to print before the end of May?
You did it. It’s going back to press, “based on early good sales.”
Thank you. Thank you, thank you, *thank you*, all so very much. I’m genuinely sitting here stunned and teary-eyed and sniffly, because wow. *Thank* you.
Um. Jeez. Uh. What was I talking about? Rewriting the hard part! I managed to get the bit I’d skipped done, and while it could use a little more polishing, it’s done! I’ve got about five chapters left to revise, and then … I don’t know, fifty or seventy-five pages more to write (and the prologue to rewrite, got to remember to do that) and then the book is done. And gosh, for some reason, I’m feeling REALLY INSPIRED to go do my revisions right now, so I think I’m gonna go do that. o.o
*reels off, stunned*
miles to Minas Tirith: 375.3
THE QUEEN’S BASTARD is out today. Fine bookstores everywhere should be selling it.
I talk quite a bit about the nerve-wracking aspect of this book over at Magical Words today, and Joshua Palmatier invited me to participate in his author introduction series…where, it turns out, I talked about the nerve-wracking aspects of this book, albeit in a *slightly* different way. :)
I should be less nervous, maybe. It’s my tenth book, which you’d think would settle my nerves some in and of itself. It’s gotten some really nice reviews (money shot from Booklist’s starred review: “…the first of what promises to be an outstanding series featuring a masterfully intricate dance of politics and intrigue in a world with parallels to the Elizabethan era., and Kate Elliott said it was really good, which means more to me personally than Booklist, because ZOMG Kate Elliott! o.o). It has, in fact, already gone back to print, thanks to a big library supplier order, which, y’know, bodes well.
Still. Nervous. Excited. Hopeful. Very hopeful.
I’d love to astound my editor by having the book go back to print again by the end of May. It only (only!) needs to sell about 15,000 copies to do that. That’s either 10 copies per person on my friends list, or one copy per person plus nine more that y’all convince other people to go buy. :) So send people to read the excerpt and to drool over the cover and help me make a little noise about this one, please? *looks charming and hopeful* :)