Tag Archives: Chavali

New Release: A Curse of Memories #ebook #books #fantasy #series

Chavali is back in The Greatest Sin book 5: A Curse of Memories. Eldrack sets her on the trail of the traitor whose actions caused a fellow agent’s death, a mission she accepts with fervor.

The ebook is 99 cents until tomorrow, when it assumes its regular price. If you’re new to the series, you can meet Chavali for the first time in The Fallen, book 1 of the series. She’s a cranky, sarcastic fraud of a fortune teller happy to fleece strangers for the benefit of her clan by telling them exactly what they want to hear.

The world of The Greatest Sin has lost its Creator and hates that fact. Chavali doesn’t care, but she’s about to get dragged, kicking and screaming, into the quest to find the Creator and bring Her back.

Chavali and Black Widow

All the furor about Black Widow over Mother’s Day weekend made me think more about Chavali. She was on my mind anyway, of course, because of the impending release of Moon Shades.

I'm not sure where you put this on the book, but there must be a place.

I’m not sure where you put this on the book, but there must be a place.

If you haven’t seen Avengers 2 yet and somehow have managed to avoid reading all the explosions about it, it’s not a giant spoiler to say there’s a healthy dose of backstory for Black Widow, and some folks didn’t like it being brought up very much. It’s mentioned that she was sterilized, which is a highly pragmatic choice for an assassin. Black Widow spends a little bit of time lamenting the loss of her agency on this front, because even if she never would have had kids, she would’ve liked to retain the choice to at some point.

If you, for some reason, happen to think or have been led to believe she thinks she’s a monster because she can’t have children, you missed a sentence or something, because she’s referring to the fact she’s an assassin. Anyway, enough about that movie. I enjoyed it, ’nuff said.

Chavali has a different issue around the subject of motherhood. She likes children, they wouldn’t unduly interfere with her job, and she’s capable of having them. She, however, doesn’t want any of her own. In her case, it’s because she’s a contact telepath and is terrified of the complications this presents for pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. In many ways, especially perception, it’s the same problem. Her choice was, in her opinion, taken away by something out of her control.

There are moments in the books when Chavali laments her lack of agency on the subject. Like the film MCU Black Widow, she’s lived with this for a long time and has come to terms with it, but sometimes the subject hurts to think about. This doesn’t mean she’s going to change her mind and be willing to confront her fear about the whole process (though she might at some point). It means she has the normal human drive to procreate and struggles with the need to thwart it for her own well-being.

In that point, the phrase ‘her own well-being’ is the critical one. This part is where her issues and Black Widow’s are strikingly different. Chavali’s choice, whether she believes it or not, is still a choice. It’s one she can change if she ever wants to. Yet she remains childless because that’s the best for her. On purpose. This is, I think, important. Sometimes, a “tragedy” in a character’s life needs to be not because there’s no other option, but because the other option doesn’t work specifically for them.

All Moon Shades, All the Time

Moon Shades is done. This is the first time I’ve ever had a designated release date that falls more than a week after the point when the book is ready to go live. If you’re interested in an ARC (Advance Review Copy), head over to the Become A Fan page and sign yourself up by the end of the week. Please be aware that this ARC comes with the expectation that you’ll actually post a review of the book. It would be really great if you can manage it before the 16th on Goodreads, but I understand if you can’t read it that fast.

It can be found on Goodreads now, and will be available for sale as both an ebook and print book on May 16th.

This book follows the tradition set by Harbinger: it’s about 10,000 words longer than the previous book. There’s that much more of Chavali and the rest of your favorite Fallen agents to love. With so many words to work with, we managed to fit in nearly everyone.

This time around, the mystery Chavali has to solve comes as a surprise. She’d rather spend her time with her tiny clan, but her temper–complicated by cabin fever–gets her into trouble. You’re shocked, I know. I was shocked too. So shocked I fell out of my bean bag when I read that in Erik’s outline. It might, of course, have had something to do with my son jumping on me at that moment.

That’s No Space Station, It’s a Cover Reveal

Madness! Chaos!

I’ve just completed an overhaul of the Maze Best series, and I’m rather proud of how it’s turned out. The new covers are cool (and available to be seen on the handy My Books page), and I’m working on promotional whatnot to go with them. If you run into me at one of the Cons I’m working, you’ll get to see the fun stuff I’ve cooked up.

Mmmmmm, dragon heads on a plate.

Mmmmmm, dragon heads on a plate.

While this is awesome with a side of awesome sauce, the revision, promo workup stuff, and organizing my appearances through the summer devoured my brain for the first two months of the year. However! The Greatest Sin #3 now has a title. Though the book itself isn’t ready for primetime yet, I can proudly reveal the gorgeous cover:

Chavali has 99 problems, and the stairs are at least 237 of them. As usual, there’s a murder, and Chavali’s stuck with having to deal with the irritating people who insist upon trying to solve it with her. Some days, I wonder if she’ll reach out of the book and throttle me for making her put up with this nonsense. Other days, I’m too busy cackling about her misery to care. The rest of the time, I’m sure she’ll actually go after Erik, because it was all his idea anyway.

The Greatest Sin #2: Harbinger


It lives! Erik and I are pleased and excited to announce that Harbinger is now available exclusively on Amazon, and in the Kindle Unlimited borrowing program. The print version will be available next week. It (and The Fallen) will be touring blogs in the nearish future. Which is more fun than a barrel of cats with slingshots and bananas. (It’s actually fun, in case that metaphor isn’t clear.)

Finishing this book and getting it out the door has consumed me for the past month, and I’m proud of it. After the horrific upheaval of The Fallen, Chavali gets some time to figure out what she’s doing. Not nearly enough, but some. The past, the future – both matter, no matter how little she wants to think about either.

In this installment of The Greatest Sin, she travels with Colby, Portia, and a new gentleman introduced in Chapter 1. They bring out the best and worst in her, and force her to deal with things she’d rather avoid. One of those things? The matter of the greatest sin itself. In The Fallen, we didn’t talk much about it. In Harbinger, the subject is discussed. Starting with this second book, it becomes Important.

I must admit that I considered using a fish for the cover, instead of a knife. You’ll see why! The knife, though, is so much more a theme of Chavali’s life and this particular part off it. Seriously. I challenge you to find all the ways in which a blade plays an important part of this. In order to do that, of course, you’ll have to read it.

I’m sneaky like that.

Announcing The Greatest Sin #2: Harbinger

Oh. My. Goodness.

I had high hopes for this summer. Release Harbinger in August. Finish the next Ilauris-based book. Finish the next Bobby book. Read a lot.

Yeah, none of that happened. Instead, I had the most stressful yet awesome three weeks EVER as I not only sent my kids off for longer than we’ve ever been apart before, but also moved from the right coast to the left and did Ragbrai in the middle. So many details! So many annoyances! So many surprises!

For the record, Idaho is the scariest fricking place to drive on the highway in the universe.

But that was weeks ago. I’ve finally settled in and gotten back to work. Everything is happening later than I wanted. It is, however, still happening. Case in point: Harbinger is real, and it’s in the final editing stages. More importantly, we have a cover.

Take *your time* is how it felt sometimes

Blue! The last cover was black. This one is blue. Blue happens to be my son’s favorite color, but that’s not why we picked it. Note the clever wordplay of ‘Take a plunge’ with both water and a knife on the cover. Isn’t that clever? Nod your head and agree to boost our egos.

Harbinger continues the tale of Chavali and the world of Tilzam. She’s settling into her new life and has brand new problems, idiots, and annoyances to deal with. As you might guess, there are knives and water involved. Some of both are metaphorical, because Erik and I are sneaky like that.

Excerpt coming soon…

The Greatest Sin #2: Harbinger

I’m pleased to announce that The Greatest Sin #2 has a title! The second installment of the series is called Harbinger, and it follows Chavali as she continues to adjust to her new life and job. This time, we venture to Ket, a city on the coast with a lot of problems. Chavali doesn’t actually care about any of those problems, but has to wade into them anyway to help discover the fate of an agent of The Fallen.

The story twists and turns through intrigue and danger. Spies! Knife fights! Illusions! Culture clash! Some really strange things happen, revealing more about the world of Tilzam and offering hints about the future of the series. And a future there will be, as Erik and I are already discussing pieces and parts for the next book.

We’re expecting to release Harbinger in August, and that’s fabulously exciting. Hopefully, we’ll be able to keep up the pace of two books per year. The first book, The Fallen, is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.