Ilona Andrews's Blog, page 6

April 6, 2018

April 4, 2018

So first there was buying of the house.

Then there were renovations.

Then moving during holidays.

Dealing with consequences of incompetent movers. (The box with all of power cords was left behind in the house.)

More renovations.

Deadline stress.

Dealing with more renovations to put the other house on the market. (It is finally going ot be listed on Thursday.  Those of you with facebook accounts can see the results of the staging here. Our house never looked like that when we were living there.)

Contract discussions.

Cover discussions. It was an expensive cover.  It’s beautiful, but the process was long and complex.

More contract discussions.

Tax prep.

And it just kept going like that. There were good things, too.  But the stressful things just kept building and building.

These past two weeks really kicked my butt.  First, possible future son-in-law #1 collapsed at urgent care. To begin with, he asked to go see a doctor, which caused Kid 1, who is properly trained by observing her father, to immediately cart him off to urgent care because he was surely near death, where he attempted to follow the physician’s assistant, walked into the doorway, couldn’t negotiate it, and then collapsed, scaring everyone half to death.  Then lightning hit and fried some things.  My work pc went kaput. Office flooded. I got violently sick, and I don’t recall being that sick ever. I am still achy. It definitely made an impression. All of that simultaneously with preparing taxes. We are an S corp, so no matter what, there is always a bill.  I just want to know how big it is.

All this cost us over a week of work, a week we really needed.

We have some workers in the back yard.  The second half of our yard was Texas wilderness when we bought it.  There were snakes and scorpions and so on. Not that safe for dogs or kids, even if they are technically adults.  So we hired an arborist to clean up dead tree limbs, take out the cedars, and landscape a bit.  On Gordon’s birthday, which we had to move to Sunday, because I was sick, the workers left the gate open, and the bulldogs took off.

The road is right next to the house. I knew I couldn’t walk it, because I was too sick, so I got into the car while Gordon combed the surrounding brush on foot.  All I could think off were the two bulldogs getting hit by a car, because that would be a hell of a birthday present. Here is your dead dog, honey. The bulldogs came home while I was driving, so they were out for about 15 minutes tops, but it was enough.

Usually, when the stress gets this bad, I go and buy pretty yarn and destress. The trick, when everything get like this, is to have something to look forward to, while I work on my current knitting project.  As long as you have it and anticipate it, it makes you feel better. Sometimes it’s not yarn.  Sometimes I paint.  Sometimes I do photoshop.  Sometimes I make trees out of beads. But mostly it’s yarn.

I tried to buy yarn and I can’t.  I stare at different yarn on Ravelry for hours and I can’t make up my mind. And for some reason – probably because of the move, all of my therapeutic yarn catalogs are no longer arriving.  I looked at koigu patterns for almost an hour yesterday, because in principle, I would like to make something with it, because it might look pretty. I came away with nothing. Before that, I did the same thing with hedgehog fibers.  In the end, the decision paralysis is too much and I give up.

So if you are a knitter/crocheter/yarn hoarder, I would love to know what you bought, what you covet, yarn patterns, etc.  I want to buy and make something awesome, so I will have something to look forward too.  Because at this point, it really wouldn’t hurt.

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Published on April 04, 2018 17:31 • 410 views

And the winner is, by unanimous decision of the writers and agents, is…

The Iron Covenant.

The earliest comment suggesting Iron Covenant, posted on 04/01/2018 at 12:50 pm,  belongs to Joanne.  Dear Joanne, please email us to make further arrangements to claim your prizes.


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Published on April 04, 2018 16:18 • 424 views

April 3, 2018

Happy Birthday to Gordon.  I love you so much!

I’ve been very sick for the past three days with what has to be the most epic food poisoning ever.  Or a stomach virus.  Or perhaps E coli infection.  Getting better, but very slowly, so will be MIA in the next few days.

The Iron and Magic was not an April Fools joke.

And finally, the new chapter of Innkeeper is up.

Chapter 6 Part 3

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Published on April 03, 2018 13:09 • 418 views

April 1, 2018

On April 1st, 2015, we’ve made an April Fools post. We thought we were being quite clever.  Below are the contents of that post.

The announcements just keep on coming.

So without further ado, here is the cover and blurb.  Click to enlarge.

Warlord's Price Fake cover

Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, bowed to only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master is gone and Hugh must carve a new place for himself and his people in the post-apocalyptic world where magic comes and goes in waves. With former allies ready to tear him apart, Hugh is forced to make alliances to preserve the Order of Iron Dogs, warriors who would follow him anywhere.

Serafina Price is the head witch of the Midwestern Covens. She is powerful, devious, and smart. Her people think she is a goddess, her enemies call her Snake. Tasked with protection of her people, she is trapped between the magical heavy weights about to collide and plunge the entire region into war that human authorities have no power to stop. Desperate to preserve the covens, she would accept help from the devil himself.

They detest each other, yet they need each other to survive. How can two people famous for betraying their former allies cement their agreement without a shadow of a doubt?

They marry.

We hope you will enjoy this new look into the mind of Hugh d’Ambray. I just got an awesome quote on this from Lorna Sterling, who writes fantastic pirate-themed romances.

“Magnificent!  He is a true Romance Hero!”

Lorna Sterling

E of bookpushers would like to add, “Finally we were able to see the full extent of Hugh d’Ambray’s passion, not just his skill with a blade. It was well worth the decades long wait!”

Then there were comments.

I HATE April’s fool’s! I got so frickin’ excited!

but but but…its an amazing idea!!!!!! I wanna read this

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Published on April 01, 2018 10:40 • 589 views

March 30, 2018

Had to buy a new tower. Finally was able to log into the website.  Will work on Innkeeper this weekend.

Fans are still going.

Life is loud.

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Published on March 30, 2018 17:35 • 262 views

March 29, 2018

Flooded floor 1Flooded floor2Flooded Floor 3What are these pictures?

We had a storm last night.

These are the pictures of the flooded office.  Servpro is coming out with fans to dry out the wall, we will likely have to replace a chunk of the drywall, and we will have to work with the fans for the next 3 days.

The equipment in the study failed, probably due to a lightning strike, despite numerous surge protectors, so the receiver that connects all of our entertainment options is refusing to turn on.  The power supply is working, the receiver isn’t. The tech is coming out tomorrow.

My office computer has quit.  It worked yesterday, but today it took approximately 2 hours to the point where I could write this blog post.  I couldn’t open PDF files.  I couldn’t print out the contract.  I couldn’t open an image file.  I couldn’t access email. I am periodically experiencing a severe slow down, where I can’t even move my cursor.

We are on a deadline. We lost yesterday, likely will lose today, and I’m not sure if working with fans will be feasible.  Shout-out to awesome Servpro people for getting here superfast.  I told them I would give them a plug, so if you are flooded in San Marcos  area, ServPro will come out in 24 hours.

Gordon has spoken firmly with me, so when we are done and the fans are up, we are going to Best Buy to purchase a new desktop.  That is the only choice at this point, because Geek Squad will take forever and a half to fix the current desktop and since we bought it 2 years ago, I am not sure it’s still under warranty.

Fuck it all.

Flood Damage 1A foot along the whole wall had to come up.

It is loud.

In light of our current situation, we will not be able to do the great big Hugh bonanza we were planning.  We will be releasing some cool stuff om April 1st, but unfortunately preorder and cover reveal might have to be postponed by a week.  This wasn’t how we were hoping for things to go, but this is how it is. We will strive to still deliver an Innkeeper installment.

PS. Anna, your book will be going in the mail today and Brandon, I’m working on the file for Nicole, if the desktop holds.

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Published on March 29, 2018 09:45 • 439 views

March 28, 2018

Before Rain


German Shepherd

After Rain


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Published on March 28, 2018 12:42 • 314 views

Texas has treated us to a classic thunderstorm today with lightning, thunder, and sheets of rain, so I am waiting another half an hour before braving the office, because I don’t know where the umbrella is and I don’t want to get soaked.  So some answers to the questions.

First things first: for those of you on iPad, are you seeing the weird menu issue in the sideways view.  If so please comment, so I know it’s not an isolated occurrence.

Richard writes:

Industry question. How do you get inspiration for a fight scene?

Fight scene mechanics are similar to sex scene mechanics: unless you add emotion, both will be flat. The most important part is getting the emotional undercurrent correctly.  The reader should feel in danger.  They should hold their breath and hope to dodge a fatal strike.  That’s why Richard Mar was such a pain to write.  The character was written as extremely precise and during most of his fights, he would be cool as a cucumber.

To infuse the fight with emotion, you really have to pull the character apart and show exactly what they are thinking. If you look at Maud’s fight, she is progressively getting more and more ruthless because things keep getting more and more desperate, to the point of kicking a pitcher at a woman whom she desperately hoped to impress. The shattered pitcher is kind of a high point there, because things are so bad, we’re expecting something to break.

That said, this is analysis post-writing.  During the writing, there is no conscious process of “Put this in, it’s important.” We kind of put ourselves into Maud’s shoes or Hugh’s shoes or whoever’s shoes and try to survive. I do have to say, the arm breaking move took a while.  It’s an escrima move called pangilog and at some point Gordon and I did it to each other a few times, because it wasn’t clear how much pressure it would put on the shoulder and would a shoulder pop before hyperextending the elbow.

Jenn writes:

Are y’all still considering going to DragonCon?

We are, but it is a long process.  You have to fill out an application and then you may or may not get approved.

DinNC writes,

If not already asked: what are the optimal dimensions for a moat? Respectfully, member BDH

Hugh is building a big ass moat and lining it with Roman concrete.  It is costing a ton of money, but supposedly it will all be worth it.

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Published on March 28, 2018 10:33 • 262 views

March 27, 2018

We are still working on Hugh and Elara’s book.

There is battling.  So much battling.  Planning of the battling.  Describing the preparations to the battling.  Executing the actual battling.  Scrapping the battling due to it devolving into clinical account of the battling.  Starting over. More battling.  Some heads being loped off.

Work work work.  Workitty.

The computer fixed itself.  I didn’t do anything to it.  I shut it down overnight, and in the morning it miraculously worked, which is lovely because if it conked out, I would have no choice but go and buy a new one.  And reinstall everything. ::shudders:: I don’t even remember my Dropbox password. Having watched the task manager for a few days, I have to say web browsers are eating up a surprising amount of memory.

Oh, I read an advance copy of a really good book by Jennifer Estep.  It had badass gladiators in it.  Loved.  It’s called KILL THE QUEEN. (Mihir, if you haven’t requested it, you should.  I think you might really like it.)  I’ll talk more about it when I’m coherent. It had wereogres.

Let’s see what else?  Gordon’s birthday is coming up.  I ordered some goodies for him.  The problem is, he will snoop.  I know he will.  So the question is, do I just surrender to the fact that he will snoop or should I attempt to hide things, which will be taken as a challenge? These things you contemplate after two decades of marriage.

Well that is it for now.  I have made a blog update so you will know we are not dead.  If you want some sort of decent content, ask some industry questions or something, because I have nothing in my head but battles and moat building at the moment.

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Published on March 27, 2018 10:57 • 278 views