Bradley P. Beaulieu's Blog
September 8, 2016
With the release of Of Sand and Malice Made, there’s been a flurry of activity, a bevy of reviews coming in with an assemblage of opinions.
Here’s what I’ve spotted so far. I think they like it!
“Of Sand and Malice Made Offers Blood-Soaked Fantasy Fun in the Sun.”
—Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog
“Of Sand and Malice Made is not a read that you must have before Twelve Kings, but it is an ideal start to the series.”
“Great stuff – highly entertaining, with compelling characters in an intriguing world. Pick up a copy – you won’t regret it.”
—Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews
“Of Sand and Malice Made is a perfect little book, entirely suitable as an introduction for new readers, yet completely rewarding for fans of the series.”
—The Speculative Herald
“Of Sand and Malice Made cements Beaulieu’s position as the next big thing in fantasy.”
—Writers, Artists and Readers Guild
“This may be a novella length story (at about 200 pages), but the story felt richer and deeper than I would expect for that page count. Highly recommend this book and series.”
“If you are looking for an epic fantasy with a hot and sandy tone, The Quill to Live recommends both Twelve Kings in Sharakhai and Of Sand and Malice Made.”
—Quill to Live
“This exotic, mystical city will catch hold of you and never let go. 5/5 Stars”
“A fitting addition to this absolutely gorgeous and lush epic fantasy, if you haven’t read this series as yet, then Of Sand and Malice Made is an apt springboard into this magical world of sand dunes and killing fields. You won’t be disappointed.”
“In love with the setting and the main character more than ever, I was glad we get to read Of Sand and Malice Made while anxiesly awaiting the next book in the series.”
—All About Books
September 4, 2016
Here’s another great early review for Of Sand and Malice Made from Bloglovin’:
Of Sand and Malice Made also features a new exciting creature, making me more and more fascinated with this world, always wannting more. If you’re loooking for your next unique fantasy read, set in a world that’s not your average fantasy one, this is the series to read.
For more, head on over to their website for the full review.
Of Sand and Malice Made is not a read that you must have before Twelve Kings, but it is an ideal start to the series. I suspect that anyone who hasn’t read Twelve Kings already will want to rush out and buy it. For the rest of us it is just a pleasure to revisit Ceda in her world and know a little more of her thoughts and history. As before, the characterisation and the world-building is impressive in a short tale that creates a great impression and doesn’t outstay its welcome. It makes me want to read the next novel all the more.
Head on over to SFFWorld to read the full review.
I’ve been hinting on Facebook and Twitter that I have a project brewing to sell some tee shirts and other swag from the Twelve Kings universe, including some from the newest book, Of Sand and Malice Made.
The Kickstarter for the project begins on Tuesday, September 6th, but I wanted to share a few of the designs before the big day just so you can see them ahead of time.
The project includes four designs and various products to choose from such as tee shirts (LitTees), totes, mugs, die-cut stickers, and temporary tattoos.
Each of the four designs was created using custom artwork and is heavily influenced by some key aspect from the books, from the headstrong heroine, Çeda, to the freedom fighters of the Moonless Host to the tyrannical Twelve Kings of Sharakhai. The fourth design focuses on the mysterious djinni-like creature revealed in the latest, just-released book, Of Sand and Malice Made.
So what are LitTees?
LitTees are tee shirts with designs that embed the very pages from the Shattered Sands books into the images themselves. The base images are beautiful pieces of art created by the likes of Adam Paquette and René Aigner, but within them are sections of prose, hand-selected from the content of the books to align with the theme of the design itself.
Here are the basic designs, including a handy magnifying glass so that you can see the words used from the books that are embedded in the images.
There’s one that represents Çeda as the white wolf:
And Emre in his role as a fighter in the Moonless Host:
The Twelve Kings of Sharakhai:
And lastly, one using the irindai moths from Of Sand and Malice Made:
Here’s a rough idea of what the shirts are going to look like:
There’s also going to be various other swag, including mugs, totes, stickers and temporary tattoos.
I’ll be sure to share the link to the Kickstarter once it goes live. I hope you all enjoy it. Honestly, this is as much about creating some cool geekery around the books as it is anything else. I’m just looking forward to seeing people actually wearing and using this stuff out in the world.
I was pleasantly surprised by @vulpixmew on Twitter recently with some Twelve Kings fan art. Here are the two pieces she was kind enough to share with me, one with Çeda and Emre and another with Çeda and the white wolf that inspired her nom de guerre for her battles in pits.
So cool! I love the way Emre and Çeda are looking at one another, particularly Emre’s sly grin. And the picture with the white wolf is just plain sweet.
August 17, 2016
Today’s my final day at IBM, my “day job” for the past twelve years. I’m actually quite grateful to them. They’ve been a good company to work for these past dozen years. Generally stable. Good benefits. Good team to work with and for. And I’ve found them to be quite welcoming in terms of diversity. The teams I’ve worked on have generally had a good balance of women and POC. (Being completely honest, they have skewed toward white males, but the industry as a whole skews toward white males, and I’ve found their corporate communications to be refreshingly welcoming toward female workers and, being a global company, toward other ethnicities, cultures, and so on.) So, a thank you to IBM for running what I consider to be a world-class organization.
But on to bigger and better things! I’ve got three books coming out in the next six months, a fact that’s already filling my days to the brim. Next month is the release of OF SAND AND MALICE MADE, my new SHATTERED SANDS novel. November 1st is the release of THE BURNING LIGHT, the green apocalypse story I co-wrote with Rob Ziegler. And in February of 2017, WITH BLOOD UPON THE SAND hits the shelves, Book Two of THE SONG OF THE SHATTERED SANDS. Not to mention the French, German, and Dutch releases of the SHATTERED SANDS books!
I’m looking forward to the new challenges I’m setting for myself as I head into full-time writing. I have a few little projects I’m working on behind the scenes as well, which I’ll unveil over the course of the next month or two. In the meantime, if you want to keep up with me and my writing, sign up for my new newsletter: http://eepurl.com/b-MSpv
And if you’d like to support me, you can do so by trying one of my books, writing a review, or checking out my Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/bradbeaulieu
Thanks for all your support, everyone. I’ve felt all the love and help and encouraging words along the way, and it means a lot to me.
August 8, 2016
After the announcement of having sold THE DAYS OF DUST AND ASH a few months back, I’ve been toying around with titles. I’ve been waffling a lot between using the title for the series name or the first book title or both. I think I’ve settled on using it as the series title and having shorter titles.
The Days of Dust and Ash: Demons Risen
The Days of Dust and Ash: Angels Fallen
The Days of Dust and Ash: A World Made Anew
The books are going to be shorter and punchier than my epic fantasy, and I wanted the titles to reflect that as well. I think these hit the mark, and I’m digging them so far, but you never know. Sometimes the luster fades from titles.
We’ll see, but in the meantime, what do you think? Like them?
I’ve been working with the talented voice actor, Lauren Fortgang, to get the audio version of In the Stars I’ll Find You, up for sale on Audible. This collection of short stories features my science fictional work, from exploring far-flung worlds to finding what it means to be human through artificial intelligence to the cost of dividing ourselves—or ourself—through the use of technology.
I’m pleased to report the audiobook is finally ready! You can check it out on Audible now, including a 5-minute audio sample. I think you’ll agree that Lauren did a wonderful job bringing these stories to life.
To celebrate, I’m hosting a giveaway for three audio copies of the book. It’s open to anyone worldwide. Just reply to this post with your favorite audio voice actor (not necessary, but with one of their audiobooks if you remember it). If you’re new to audio books, I’ll settle for your favorite actor. No multiple entries allowed. The contest ends August 12th at midnight (GMT -6).
If you know anyone who likes audio books, please spread the word!
July 29, 2016
Yesterday, I launched a Patreon to help support my writing. As a thank you, and as a teaser for what’s in store for those who join the growing cadre of Shattered Sands fans, I’ve posted the first excerpt, a chapter cut from Book 2 of the series, With Blood Upon the Sand.
July 28, 2016
I’ve had some news that came as a bit of a shock. I’ve been notified that I was part of a “resource action” at IBM (normal people call them layoffs). In a move that will see some 17,000 employees cut from the payroll, IBM’s Cloud division is scaling back due to generally poor outlook in sales, competition in the space, etc. You can read more about it here.
Whatever the reason, it was a jarring call. I’ve never been let go from any position. Ever. I’ve always moved on to new opportunities. I’ve never had any significant time off, either. I’ve always moved straight from one job to the next since entering the workforce. So my first thought was “what the hell am I going to do?” It’s still my main thought, to be honest. I’ve been sleeping poorly, worried about what’s going to happen, how I’m going to provide for my family, what the ramifications will be both near-term and long. I’m the main breadwinner in the family. My wife and I have two kids, making the math even more daunting. Replacing that lost income is not going to be easy.
But this isn’t all bad news. I don’t need to replace all the income I’ve lost. I’ve been saving for retirement from the moment I started working, so we’re already okay there (barring some major financial sector meltdown). Plus, my writing income has been steadily increasing. My wife is just now re-entering the workforce after taking time off to raise our kids. We’ve been talking for years about downsizing our house to be better able to handle a full-time job in writing. Taking the leap into writing and getting out more fiction was a goal I was coming closer and closer to every year. So when this news came along, I started mulling a head-first dive into writing rather than looking for another job in IT, and the more I thought about it, the more excited I became.
Anyone who knows me knows how methodical I am. I need to know that we can sustain ourselves. The house downsizing is only the first step. Writing is a famously unsteady occupation. I have a number of books under contract over the next several years, but there’s no guarantee beyond that. And, to be perfectly frank, even those books are not guaranteed. They could tank, and then I’d be facing a dry spell.
Because I’ll have more time on my hands to work on some smaller projects, I’ve decided to start a Patreon, the goal of which would be to create more fiction, to share it with backers, and to provide writing tips along the way. You can take a look at the Patreon page itself for more details, but the short of it is that I’m looking to raise $2,000 per month to help with health insurance for my family, a cost that skyrockets when you’re no longer getting company-provided health care.
If I could impose on you, my friends, please take a look at the Patreon. There are some very reasonable rewards that will actually pay for themselves with the rewards I’m offering, and there are some higher goals that provide some pretty unique opportunities.
Please spread the word if you could, and if you decide to join the gang, I thank you sincerely.