Lisa Shearin

New Books!

No First Book Friday post this week, I’m afraid. So I figured we could do New Book Friday instead.

Oof. As it turns out, I know an awful lot of people who write books! I know this list is incomplete, too. I got in trouble for that the last time I posted a new books list, so if you have a book out and I didn’t include you, I’m not being deliberately exclusive. My brain cannot keep track of all the books.

So, anyone read any of these yet? Any you’re particularly looking forward to? And of course, feel free to add more new book suggestions in the comments!

Clicking the covers will take you to an excerpt/preview of the book, where available. (Making this one of the most link-heavy posts I’ve done in ages. I hope y’all appreciate how much work I do for you!)

Deathless [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] by Catherynne M. Valente.

The Shattered City [Harper Collins Australia] by Tansy Rayner Roberts.

The Woods [Amazon | B&N], an e-book from Stephen Leigh. (Also, B&N really needs to work on their search algorithms!!!)

Con and Conjure [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] by Lisa Shearin.

Faerie Winter [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] by Janni Lee Simner.

Fury of the Phoenix [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] by Cindy Pon.

Kat, Incorrigible [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] by Stephanie Burgis.

Rage [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] by Jackie Morse Kessler.

Shady Lady [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] by Ann Aguirre.

Nascence (17 stories that failed and what they taught me) [Amazon | B&N], an e-book by Tobias Buckell.

First Book Friday: Lisa Shearin

Welcome to First Book Friday, an ongoing series exploring how various authors sold their first books.

Today’s story comes from bestselling author Lisa Shearin (whose latest book Bewitched & Betrayed had a cameo in the new music video from The Guild — and yes, I’m jealous!)  Lisa talks about the excitement of getting The Call … both Calls, actually.  Lisa is also an active blogger, providing 23 metric tons of useful publishing and writing-related information each month at


My first sale was Magic Lost, Trouble Found [B&N | Mysterious Galaxy | Amazon], the first book in my Raine Benares fantasy adventure series.  Over more years than I care to remember, I wrote two books that were the warm-ups for Magic Lost, Trouble Found.  Once I found my voice, and a plot solid enough to hang a story on, MLTF took me about 3-5 years to write.  (That’s a big difference from the nine months or less that I now take to write my books.)

The first step for me in getting that first publishing contract was to get an agent.  I’d read where Kristin Nelson (Nelson Literary Agency) was looking for fantasy with a strong female protagonist.  If that didn’t describe Raine, I didn’t know what did.  I sent a query letter.  Kristin requested the first three chapters, then the entire manuscript.  Then came weeks of me jumping every time the phone rang or the e-mail beeped.

“The Call” came during the day while I was at work (at the day job). When Kristin said she loved my book and wanted to represent me, I did a lot of silent squeeing and fumbling to find a pen and paper to take notes. That alone shows how completely befuddled and caught off guard I was — I’m an editor, writer and proofreader at an advertising agency; I’ve got pens and paper all over the place. I had two other agents who were also considering my book, but I really wanted to sign with Kristin. Why? Because she was so excited about my book and seemed to love my characters as much as I did. For me, that was a must-have for an agent.

The frustrating part of getting The Call at the office was that while my co-workers congratulated me, they had no clue how freaking HUGE and MAMMOTH and HUMONGOUS this moment was for me. It’s definitely more fun to squee with people who know why they’re squeeing with you.

As to the e-mail from Kristin saying that we had an offer of a two-book contract from Ace Books — that one came at home. I’d just gotten home from work and had been checking my e-mail like crazy every day. When I saw the subject line “We have an offer” or something to that effect, first I stopped breathing. Second, I let my breath out, took another one, and told myself to keep breathing. Then I opened the e-mail.

And screamed.

Bear in mind that I was at home and so was my husband Derek. Now he understood how huge, mammoth, and humongous this news was, so when I burst into tears, I got the perfectly appropriate response of enthusiastic hugs and kisses.  The dogs were crowded around us and jumping up and down — they had no clue that mom had just scored a two-book deal; they just wanted to share in the excitement.

Lisa and Lucy reenact the celebration of that first sale.

Lisa and Lucy reenact the celebration of that first sale.

8 Books in 8 Weeks: Week Five

Hm … I think I have ginmar to thank for the influx of new LJ friends.  Welcome all, and please feel free to say hello!  Or not, if you prefer.  It’s all good.


My next book, Red Hood’s Revenge [B&N | Mysterious Galaxy | Amazon] comes out on July 6, and I’m counting down the days by giving away a book each week.  Congratulations to @bkwrrm_tx who won the Twitter giveaway.

Today’s contest is a little different.  My friend Lisa Shearin (author of the Raine Benares series) has an excerpt and giveaway for The Stepsister Scheme over on her blog.  To be entered to win an autographed copy of Stepsister, just head over and comment on the blog post.

Lisa will be drawing a winner tonight, so if you want to enter this one, you’ll have to be quick.

And tune in tomorrow for … actually, I haven’t decided yet.  Maybe another diabetes post.  Maybe a follow-up to the whole “friending/defriending” phenomenon on social networks.  Or maybe I’ll just talk about the crazy involved in trying to wrap up the second draft of this book…

Books and Squirrel

Two new books out today from friends of mine.


Feed [B&N | Mysterious Galaxy | Amazon], by Mira Grant, also known as Seanan McGuire (of Rosemary & Rue fame)[1. She’s been talking about the book on her LiveJournal, so I’m assuming the pseudonym is an open secret].  From the Publishers Weekly Starred Review:

Twin bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason and their colleague Buffy are thrilled when Sen. Peter Ryman, the first presidential candidate to come of age since social media saved the world from a virus that reanimates the dead, invites them to cover his campaign. Then an event is attacked by zombies…

Bewitched & Betrayed [B&N | Mysterious Galaxy | Amazon], by Lisa Shearin.  This is Shearin’s fourth book about seeker/sorceress Raine Benares.  Lisa has posted sample chapters from all four books on her web site.  Check ’em out!


Thanks for everyone’s input last week about discussing/sharing family stories and such online.  I talked to my wife and both kids about it, and I have a better sense how I’m going to try to go about this.  The current plan is to use the cut tag for these, since not everyone is interested.  I also let the kids choose pseudonyms for themselves.  (Clara and Jackson, if you’re wondering).  I’ll probably reevaluate as I go.

So anyway, this weekend I brought the kids to Michigan State to feed the ducks…


Jim C. Hines