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The Sworn is in bookstores and online Feb. 1!

The Sworn: Book One in The Fallen Kings Cycle is in stores and online February 1!  Keep an eye out also for the ebook and audio editions.

For those who have never read my books, The Sworn is an entry point into my world of the Winter Kingdoms.  You don’t have to read the Chronicles books to be able to jump right into the action (but of course I hope you will).  For those who have followed Tris, Jonmarc and the gang from the beginning, The Sworn is the next phase of the adventure, picking up six months after the end of Dark Lady’s Chosen with all new dangers and aventures.

Here’s the blurb from the cover:

As plague and famine scourge the winter kingdoms, a vast invasion force is mustering from beyond the northern seas. And at its heart, a dark spirit mage wields the blood magic of ancient, vanquished gods.

Summoner-King Martris Drayke must attempt to meet this great threat, gathering an army from a country ravaged by civil war. Neighboring lands reel toward anarchy while plague decimates their leaders. Drayke must seek new allies from among the living – and the dead –- as an untested generation of rulers face their first battle.

Then someone disturbs the legendary Dread as they rest in a millennia-long slumber

beneath sacred barrows. Their warrior guardians, the Sworn, know the Dread could be pivotal as a force for great good or evil. But if it’s the latter, could even the Summoner-King’s sorcery prevail?

Signings and Events

I will be in stores doing book signings and at genre conventions throughout 2011, and I love to meet readers, so please stop by and say hello!  Here’s the list of events so far (we’ll keep a running list posted on the Events tab).

Jan. 21-23 – Chattacon, Chattanooga, TN

Feb. 5 – Barnes & Noble, Pineville NC—The Sworn will be out!

Feb. 12 – Barnes & Noble, Morrocroft (South Charlotte)

Feb. 19 – Books A Million, Concord Mills

Feb. 26 – Barnes & Noble, Birkdale Village (Huntersville NC)

Apr. 2 – Carolina Writers Conference

Apr. 8 – 10 – Ravencon, Richmond, VA

May 27 – 29  – Balticon, Hunt Valley, MD

June 4 – 6  –  ConCarolinas, Charlotte, NC

June 21 – Hawthorn Moon Online Sneak Peek Event

September –  DragonCon, Atlanta, GA

October –  Capclave, Gaithersburg, MD

October 24 – 31 –  Days of the Dead Blog Tour

November – Philcon, Cherry Hill, NJ

Con updates!

I was a panelist at Arisia in Boston for the first time Jan. 14 – 16, and had a wonderful con!  I was on 10 panels, so I got to meet a lot of other writers as well as some fantastic readers, and of course, to see old friends.  Several of my panels focused on myth and folklore in fantasy, and we had a very lively crowd!  Other panels touched on religion in SF/F, Vampires in Urban and Epic Fantasy, and tips to help authors use social media to reach readers more effectively.  Although one of my panels conflicted with the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading, I was with the BU folks in spirit, and hope to be on one of their RFRs again soon.

Chattacon in Chattanooga, TN is another first for me.  I’m always excited when I get to go to a new convention and meet readers from a different area of the country.  Some of my panels include topics with dragons and multi-book series. A good friend of mine, artist Ruth Thompson, was guest of honor.  Now Ruth and I have known each other for several years from the Renaissance Festival circuit, and I have her fabulous paintings all over my house.  It’s always fun to be at an event with Ruth!

Longtime readers, take note—I will not be at the Arizona Renaissance Festival this year due to a calendar mix-up. (I was invited but we couldn’t get the dates to work out.)  However, we’re making plans now for 2012 with the intent for me to return, so stay tuned!

Likewise, a prior commitment forced me to cancel my appearance at StellarCon.  It’s going to be better than ever this year and I’m really sorry about having to miss.  Hopefully next year!

Ghost in the Machine Podcast

I host a podcast called The Ghost in the Machine Fantasy Podcast (www.GhostInTheMachinePodcast.com) where I introduce my listeners to all of the cool people I meet traveling around to conventions and Renaissance Festivals.  Two audio interviews air each month (they’re about 15 minutes long).  Authors, artists, publishing pros and other interesting folks show up on the podcast, so please check it out!

In January/February, guests include: Juliet McKenna (Irons in the Fire) on the concept of  legacy in epic fantasy and author Karina Sumner-Smith about the continuing importance of short fiction in a writer’s career.  February guests are Laura Anne Gilman (the Retrievers series) and Juliet Blackwell (Secondhand Spirits: A Witchcraft Mystery).

Podcast guests are also invited to post a guest blog on my Disquieting Visions group blog (http://DisquietingVisions.wordpress.com).  Disquieting Visions is co-hosted by J.F. Lewis (Staked, Revamped, Crossed), Crymsyn Hart (paranormal romance), Tina McSwain (Charlotte Area Paranormal Society) and me.  We’ll also be inviting our friends to guest blog, so you’ll see some of the top names in epic and urban fantasy, paranormal romance and mystery, as well as psychics, clairvoyant mediums, and paranormal researchers.  Check it out!

OK, That Covers It For Now

I’m now writing two books a year (I just turned in The Dread, Book Two in The Fallen Kings Cycle), and I’m working on a whole new series for 2012, The Ascendant Kingdoms.  I do plan to return to the world of Tris and Jonmarc and the gang with more adventures after The Dread, but the plot line takes a several year break until the next big adventure, so it seemed to be a good time to let those characters rest (they’ve been through a lot) and launch a new world.  Details to come, but suffice to say that The Ascendant Kingdoms books will be a whole new world, all new characters and lots more magic and adventures.  (And yeah, there will still be ghosts and vampires and shapeshifters.)  Details to come!

Amid all of that, I will do my best to blog when I have something to say.  And to answer questions.  So keep the comments coming!