Ilona Andrews's Blog
July 24, 2014
New site for all things Kate Daniels for your enjoyment. Enjoy Twitters, KD extras, Curran LOLz, etc.
Audiobook of Magic Breaks
The audio book WILL BE AVAILABLE. It’s at Recorded Books now and buy links should go up on Audible very soon, before release date. Very soon is all I can tell you. We had to go directly to the retailers and ask very nicely to fast-track it. We owe people favors now.
Meet and Greets
We have gathered all of the information and we are waiting on confirmation from Ace’s publicist who arranged the tour. If everything is confirmed, we will post dates, times, and locations here. Nicole will also post the locations every day on the blog.
Very Kind Reviews of Magic Breaks
Yes, I have to. It’s a prerelease week. I warned you about promo. (Ps. I love Nicole so much right now, I can’t even tell you. I just had to look at the retweets on the pro account.)
Under the Covers Book Blog + Giveaway
Boom. I am done.
We have to go and attend business meetings and then we will start the tour. We will be here very briefly Monday but mostly we will be gone until the 4th. (On the 4th my father arrives to visit. I haven’t seen him in 20 years. He does not speak English. This will be interesting.) Nicole is holding the fort in our stead. Be nice.
July 23, 2014
Several of you asked about UK edition of Magic Breaks. There is no print version. You have to order US edition from Book depository or Amazon. The ebook version will be uploaded 24-48 hours after US release.
July 21, 2014
Okay, this will not last, so I am preserving this unexpected hilarity for posterity. Drum rolls, please.
Click to enlarge
Hehehe! I guess the giant sale was a smashing success.
July 20, 2014
To celebrate the release of Ilona Andrew’s newest Kate Daniels novel MAGIC BREAKS, we’ve dropped the price on the U.S. e-book edition of all six of the first books in the series for ONE DAY ONLY! Today (Sunday, July 20th) all six titles are available for only $1.99 each. (You’re welcome!) Click the link for your device below and enjoy your forthcoming awesome summer reading…!
Amazon: Buy here.
BN: Buy here.
Kobo: Buy here.
Google Play: Buy here.
July 17, 2014
Remember how I claimed that Jeaniene Frost’s Beautiful Ashes cover was misleading? I coerced a snippet out of her, which she gave me with some reluctance, because it has some serious awesomeness in it. Here you go.
PS. Jeaniene, don’t be mad at me.
“What is that?”
Adrian’s voice startled me. For a second, I was disoriented, the dream clinging to me as it always did. Yes, I was in a car, but I wasn’t the unknown woman driving away from her baby. That wasn’t real. The glare Adrian leveled at my chest was, though.
“Is that a mirror?” He sounded horrified.
I looked down. My locket was open, the mirrored side facing me. At some point while I was sleeping, I must’ve opened it. Adrian’s hand shot out, but this time, I was too fast for him.
“Don’t you dare,” I snapped, holding it out of his reach. “It’s the only picture I have of my sister after you left everything I own back at that hotel in Bennington!”
He lunged again, actually letting go of the steering wheel to reach the side of the car where I held it. With a sharp yank, he wrested the locket from my hands. I tried to snatch it back, but he shoved me into my seat with one hand, finally grabbing the steering wheel with the other.
“Are you crazy?” I shrieked. “You could’ve gotten us killed!” If this hadn’t been a lonely stretch of desert road, our careening into the next lane might’ve had permanent consequences.
“You’re going to get yourself killed,” was his chilling response. Then, still pinning me to my chair with that single hand, he held my locket up.
I gasped. Something dark poked out of the small mirror, like a snake made of blackest smoke. It disappeared when Adrian smashed the mirror against the steering wheel, but an eerie wind whistled through the car, ruffling my hair and stinging my nostrils with its acrid scent.
Adrian muttered a word in that unknown language, and I didn’t need a translator to tell me it was a curse.
“What was that?” My voice was hoarse.
He threw me a pitying glance, which frightened me even more. If he wasn’t angry, we must really be screwed.
His next words proved that. “Brace yourself, Ivy. You’re about to meet a demon.”
I didn’t consider myself religious. My parents used to take Jasmine and me to church on Christmas, but it was more a social event than a pious one. Hearing we were about to be attacked by a demon, however, made me pray like I’d never done before. I just wished I knew if anyone was listening.
Adrian wasn’t praying. He was cursing up a storm, if I correctly translated the spate of words coming from his mouth. He’d also lost that pitying expression, because the looks he shot me now were distinctly grim. It wasn’t the right time, but I couldn’t stop myself from asking the obvious.
“How did it find us?”
Adrian stomped on the accelerator, and the muscle car shot forward like it had rockets in the engine.
“Through the mirror,” he said shortly. “For stronger demons, mirrors act as portals, and you’ve been number one on their Most Wanted list since you escaped them in Bennington.”
I gaped at him. “Maybe you should have told me that?”
“You think I smash every mirror near you because I don’t want you to get conceited?” Then his tone softened. “You’re barely holding it together with what you do know, Ivy. I’m not about to tell you what you can’t handle yet.”
Anger flared, which felt better than the fear that made my blood seem like it had been replaced by ice water.
“No, I wasn’t ready to know that demons used mirrors as portals. I also wasn’t ready to know demons existed, or had kidnapped my sister, or that my parents were dead, or any of the horrible things I’ve dealt with in the past two weeks. But that didn’t stop them from happening, so quit protecting me from the truth, Adrian! It doesn’t help a damn bit!”
Adrian glanced at me, a gauntlet of emotions flitting across his features.
“You’re right. If we survive, I’ll apologize.”
My laughter was bleak. “You, say you’re sorry? Now I really want to live.”
To my surprise, he laughed as well, though it was colored with dark expectancy.
“Hold that thought. You’ll need it.”
Before I could respond, something filled the road in front of us. I would’ve said it was storm clouds, except clouds don’t sweep along the ground like a heavy fog rolling in.
“Shut your vents,” Adrian said, flipping the tiny levers on his side. I did the same, more apprehension filling me as he turned the entire air conditioning system off. No, those weren’t low-hanging clouds. They were something far more ominous.
“Turn around,” I said, my voice suddenly breathy.
“It wouldn’t matter” was Adrian’s chilling reply. “He’d only follow us. I need you to find hallowed ground, Ivy.”
I couldn’t take my eyes away from the billowing clouds in front of us. They were so dark, they seemed to devour the beams that came from Adrian’s headlights.
“All right,” I mumbled. “Give me your phone, I’ll look up the nearest church or cemetery.”
“It’s too late for that,” he said, stunning me. “You need to find it yourself.”
“How?” I burst out. We were almost at the line of black clouds. The temperature in the car plummeted, making my skin feel like it had turned to ice.
“It’s in your bloodline,” Adrian said, swinging off the road so sharply that the back end began to fishtail. “You can sense hallowed ground, so find some, Ivy. Now.”
“I don’t know how,” I shouted.
The car shuddered over the uneven terrain, bouncing so much I almost hit my head on the roof, but I didn’t tell Adrian to slow down. That wall of darkness filled up the rear window of the Challenger until I couldn’t see the glow of our tail lights anymore.
“Yes, you do.” A growl that sounded comforting compared to the horrible hissing noises coming from outside the car.
“I don’t!” What was that flash of white on my side of the car? Or that new, ripping sound? Oh God, were those teeth scraping away at the metal on my door?
“It’s getting in, it’s getting in!”
“He can’t get in the car.”
Adrian’s strong voice broke through my panic. I stared at him, my eyes starting to burn from the acrid stench that crept in through parts of the car we hadn’t been able to seal.
“I warded it against demons a long time ago,” he went on.
I felt better about that for three seconds, which was how long it took before the car lifted up on one side like a gargantuan hand had swatted it. For a paralyzing moment, I wasn’t sure if we were going to flip completely over. Then we crashed down hard enough to make the windows shatter, and I tasted blood from my jaw snapping shut on my tongue.
“’Course, that doesn’t mean he can’t tear the car apart around us,” Adrian said, stomping on the gas as soon as all four wheels were on the ground. “We’re running out of time. Where’s the hallowed ground?”
“I. Don’t. Know,” I screamed. My heart was pounding out of my chest from terror. If I knew a way out of this, I’d take it.
“Yes, you do,” he insisted, those sapphire eyes searing me when he glanced over. “Tell me which direction you want to run. That’s the right way, I promise.”
Which way did I want to run? In whatever direction this living nightmare wasn’t! The car lifted again, and everything in me braced for another impact. That awful hissing noise grew into a roar, and Adrian’s gaze met mine. In those darkly beautiful depths, I realized these would be the last moments of our lives, if I didn’t use an ability I’d never heard of before.
In the seconds before the car came crashing down, I closed my eyes. Concentrated on which direction I wanted to flee to, and tried to ignore the pain as flying glass pelted me from all sides. My instincts were screaming at me to run from the horrible thing outside these crumbling metal walls, and I let those instincts consume me, filling me until I couldn’t focus on anything else. I needed to get out of here. I needed to leave right now and go…there.
“That way,” I said hoarsely, opening my eyes and pointing.
Adrian’s hand closed over mine, his grip strong and sure. Then the car crashed down hard enough to make my vision go black and my whole body ache, but he didn’t hesitate. As soon as the worst of the impact was over, he grabbed his coat, yanked me into his arms, and then flung us out of the car.
His body took the brunt of the impact, but it still felt like I hit the ground with almost the same force as the car crashing down. My yelp was swallowed up by a tremendous boom! as Adrian threw something at the fog that rushed us. White flashed, more bright and brilliant than a lightning bolt. Those hideous clouds recoiled with a scream as though they were in pain.
Adrian leaped up, still holding me in his arms. Then he began to run in the direction I’d pointed, leaving that ugly, writhing darkness behind us.
Even without the nightmarish clouds surrounding us, I could barely see. Nothing but desert stretched out in front of us, and the headlights from Adrian’s car were now too far away to do any good. That strange flash of light was gone, too. Even the moon seemed to hide, but Adrian’s incredible strides never wavered. It was as if his eyes had night-vision technology built into them.
His speed had startled me when I was only an observer of it. Now that I was locked in his arms, hurtling through the night like I’d been strapped to the front of a bullet train, it filled me with terrified awe. His heart pounded next to my cheek, but he couldn’t be human. No mere mortal could move this way. Hell, some hybrid cars couldn’t go this fast.
“Where is it, Ivy?” he yelled, the wind snatching away his words almost before I could hear them.
I wasn’t sure anymore. All the darkness had disoriented me, and it’s not like there was a neon sign that said “Hallowed Ground This Way.” I didn’t say that, though. What I saw when I glanced over his shoulder froze the words in my throat.
That roiling mass of evil was right behind us. I shouldn’t have been able to see it against the midnight-soaked desert, but I could. The shadows forming it were filled with such seething malevolence that their darkness gleamed. Then something like a huge mouth gaped open, teeth long and razor sharp.
“Adrian!” I screamed, tightening my arms around him.
He didn’t look back, though his grip on me turned bruising. “Tell me where to go, Ivy!”
I forced myself to look away from the appalling sight, but I couldn’t look ahead. Sand-filled wind stung my eyes from how fast Adrian ran. I couldn’t see, but maybe I didn’t have to.
I closed my eyes like I had back in the car. Concentrated on my need to be as far away from the formless death monster as I could. My concentration broke when something sharp lashed my legs before digging in as though trying to claw its way up my body. I screamed again, and Adrian snarled, somehow increasing his incredible speed. With a final slice, the claws left my body, but something hot and wet ran down my legs.
I choked back my next scream, my heart pounding as fast as the booming beneath my cheek. Then I concentrated again, pain and panic finding the switch in my mind that I hadn’t realized was there.
“That way,” I said, pointing without opening my eyes.
Adrian changed direction, the hard pumping of his legs shooting pain into me from the endless impacts, but I didn’t care. Another roar sounded behind us, growing closer, until I could almost feel its icy breath on my cheek. My legs throbbed, anticipating more claws slicing through my skin, and though I knew I shouldn’t, I opened my eyes.
In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.
Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. The one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who’s bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.
Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn’t mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn’t: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side, Adrian on the other, and nothing but ashes in between…
Releasing August 26th, 2014
July 16, 2014
All I want to do today is to sit here and write my book. Most of the stuff I absolutely have to do today have nothing to do with writing. Oy.
Quote of the yesterday, from Magic Shifts:
“Can’t you just kill it with fire?” Mrs. Oswald asked.
I stuffed the tick’s legs into the large hazmat body bag. “Unfortunately, we can’t. That would be illegal. All magic hazmat has to be surrendered to Biohazard, so they can quarantine it.”
“What do you mean quarantine?” Mrs. Oswald asked.
“They’ll keep the corpse on ice for a few days to see if it tries to evolve into something else after death.”
“And then?” Mrs Oswald asked.
“Then they’ll kill it with fire,” I told her.
Ace asked very nicely if we would turn on the Ask the Author feature on Goodreads, which we did. (I have bookmarked the dashboard and I am heroically resisting looking at anything but dashboard.) So here is a link to questions already answered. You’re welcome to ask a question. I promise to answer honestly. Unfortunately, sometimes the answer will be “I don’t know.”
Jeaniene Frost is having an ARC giveaway for her new book, BEAUTIFUL ASHES. This is not my book, and I have no relationship with Harlequin, so I am completely free to say this: the cover has nothing to do with the contents. I’ve read the book. The book is all kick-ass, and demonic evil, and coming of-age love story. It has prehistoric lizard hounds in it. The cover is a random girl in the woods. What? Come on, Harlequin.
BURN FOR ME has ran through the Amazon Vine program, so there are early reviews. I found out this fact when I innocently went to Amazon for a buy link to NIGHT SHIFT. Here is a link to early reviews. Spoiler: people are surprised it’s not “porn.” (Why would it be porn? O_o.) It’s a slow burn, with instant chemistry, so there are a few hot scenes, but the relationship builds over the course of three books. Because we write slow burn well and we like to torture you. (Actually, it’s because I don’t like insta-love trope.)
Guys, please let me know if you’ve settled on meet and greet locations for the tour. We are getting conflicting suggestions for Seattle and Portland. Here is the link to the list of tour locations. Please feel free to use the comment section of this post to organize.
Book Talk Nation video chat in one week, on July 22nd. Link here. If you can’t attend a signing but would like a signed book, you can order it there.
What am I forgetting? Am I forgetting something? If I am forgetting something, please tell me in the comments.
July 14, 2014
I’ve been trying not to stress out, because our book tour is coming up and my father is coming to visit after not seeing me for twenty years – at least I think he is. So the pressure is leaking into my dreams. Today I woke up after a really confusing dream, which I don’t really recall, except I was in a car at one point and the dream also had snakes in it. Big scary cobra-sized poisonous snakes. When I woke up, for a few seconds I wasn’t sure that reality was real.
So I am sitting up in bed, trying to fights of the tattered shreds of this dream, hoping there are no cobras under my bed, and I hear, “Oh my God. Oh my God!”
This is coming from my husband. Gordon is pretty much as unflappable as you can get. One time while in the Army he stepped on a nail. It went all the way into his foot. So he pulls two inches of nail out and he says, “Sonovabitch.” “Oh my God!” is right off the scale for him in terms of reaction.
So I sit in my bed and my mind cycles through possibilities. Something might be on fire. Dogs redecorated the living room with diarrhea. Someone killed a small woodland creature and brought us a corpse. Something vital broke. I’m sitting there and hoping against hope, “Please don’t let it be something bad.”
“We have to show this to your Mom.”
Please don’t let it be something bad with the kids.
The door swing open and Kid 2 runs in. Kid 2, by the way, looks like this. Here she is in a crochet top I made. This is her latest hair color. She’s done red, pink, purple, and finally settled on blue.
Her head is completely white. White. I’m sitting there and for a split second I am convinced that either I’m seeing things, I’m still dreaming, or my kid has gone prematurely grey.
Apparently she decided to go back to a more natural color – even though the rest of us been suggesting it for months, she was adamant about bright colors – and she just stripped the color out herself. Her make up wasn’t finished so you don’t get the whole portrait, but there you go.
First thing in the morning.
I’m ready to face the day.
I might have to buy her a small dragon to carry around.
July 12, 2014
New chapter of Sweep in Peace is available for your amusement.
I’ve read this quote in PC Gamer and it resonated with me. Alex Hutchinson, the creative director of Far Cry 4, was talking about the Far Cry franchise. For those of you who are not familiar with the franchise, Far Cry is kind of difficult to classify. It usually feature the leading character ending up in some remote, foreign location and being forced to survive. For example, Far Cry 3 features a man who was supposed to have gone on a Micronesean vacation, but ended up on this island with native people, gun runners, drug dealers, and deadly animals. At the core it’s a game about discovery. The first two games int he franchise did okay, but the third was an enormous bestseller with over nine million copies sold. Kid 2 loved it, which is why I’m aware of it.
Now the team has to make Far Cry 4 and instead of copying the same location and just making everything bigger and more scary, they are doing something new.
Sometimes, success is as dangerous as failure. Once you finally hit one and you’re like, “that’s great, people really liked it, and it sold well,” there’s a tendency to change nothing. Just repaint it, keep it the same. We’re not sure what it is, we’re not sure why it worked, and I think that’s by far the most dangerous route to take. Even if you get away with it once, you won’t get away wit it twice, and you fail to learn, so you set bad practices in place. people will start replicating things instead of creating things, so the effort to do more research, to go back and say these elements of the game work, these elements of the game didn’t work has been a lot of fun.
For me, this builds on the post by Karen Marie Moning. Here is the link to the original post.
A small segue…when I stopped writing my HIGHLANDER romance novels and began working on the FEVER series, I encountered enormous obstacles. Change is a demanding bitch. Yet gratifying. I went from writing successful, stand-alone, third-person POV romance novels with happy-ever-after endings, to writing first-person POV urban fantasy novels with none (initially) of the hot-sex-and-guaranteed-culmination in each installment that I normally delivered. To further inflame the situation, I spread the story over five novels and gave them cliffhanger endings (ending DREAMFEVER on a figurative and literal cliff.) As if that wasn’t enough, I proceeded to take an average of 15 months to write each book, stringing the reader along. (Speaking of which—to those original Moning Maniacs who suffered through the wait for each installment, it was great fun and thank you! The SHADOWFEVER launch party was one of the more memorable weeks of my life, spending time with you in NOLA, answering long unanswered questions.)
When DARKFEVER was published, I lost readers, I lost ranking on the bestseller lists, I lost placement in bookstores, and I lost money. There it is. Bottom line. (The FEVER books have since drastically outsold my HIGHLANDER novels, it ended up being a very successful move at a time when historical romance novels were about to become a dying breed. I count my blessings I jumped when I did.)
I got sliced and diced by fans who told me in no uncertain terms that I didn’t have what it took to write anything but romance, that I needed to return to my roots, pull my head out of that un-sunshiney place I’d been foolish enough to cram it, and give up the writing the FEVER series.
Fiction writers, especially those who had experienced some modest amount of commercial success, are under a lot of pressure to treat writing as a business. Bills must be paid, deadlines must be made, and sometimes publishing houses say things like “We don’t want to publish this, we want to publish this other thing you came up with, because it will make us more money.” Often the writers acquiesce and end up working on something they don’t want to write. I’ve only experienced this once, with a novella, and both Gordon and I are determined to never do it again.
But back to the pressure. I’m a stubborn person. I don’t generally let myself be pushed around, but I had to face the fact this relentless pressure to produce on demand cracked me like a walnut. This wasn’t a pleasant revelation, but being cracked gave me a new perspective. Yes, writing is a business, but it’s also my creative endeavor. It’s my life. Minutes of my time, my thoughts, my creation. I don’t want to repaint the same car over and over. I want to write new things. I want to reinvent myself every few years. I want to take risks, like writing a SF disguised as urban fantasy or putting out a paranormal romance that has no paranormal creatures in it.
Starting a new series may cost me ranking, money, and placement. Hell, taking Kate Daniels in the new direction might do that. But ultimately taking risks is what makes me happy. Some may pan out, some may not, but at the end, I tried. I took a chance. And that really matters more to me, because it’s my life and I only get one try at it.
July 10, 2014
Doris is working on illustrations for the Sweep in Peace and this is the first one. I was going to hold it back, but I can’t sit on it anymore because it’s beautiful. Click the image for a larger or crisper version. I had to tone down the quality or it would take forever to load, but I wanted to show detail at the bottom.
July 8, 2014
I’ve been slacking on the blog posts lately, so I thought we’d try a new feature. Every day or so I will post a quote from a work in progress. It might be Kate and Curran. It might be Mad Rogan and Nevada. It might be from Sweep in Peace. Just a fun quote. Here is one for today:
Oh crap. We wanted it alive. I dragged my left hand over my face.
Curran laughed at me.
“I didn’t meant to! It was an accident.”
“Aha,” Curran grinned at me. “So when I kill something, it’s inconsiderate. When you kill something, it’s an accident. I see how it is.”