Monday, July 08, 2019

Keeping House - New Release from Jeanne G'Fellers

Title: Keeping House
Author: Jeanne G'Fellers
Publisher: Mountain Gap Books
Series: Appalachian Elementals (#2)
Genre: Appalachian Paranormal Fantasy, LGBTQ+
Purchase Links:

Blurb:
Centenary Rhodes is caught in a deal she didn’t make. Thanks to her eternal lover, Stowne’s, quick thinking, she’ll live forever, but there’s a hitch. Cent’s now fey, and three months out of the year she’ll live on the other side of Embreeville Mountain among the Hunter Fey, serving their king, Dane Gow.

As Cent begins wading through the anachronisms that come with being a Hunter, she learns that nothing is what it initially seems. Cent shares several past lives with Dane, who wants her back, and Stowne’s lied to Cent so many times that she’s having doubts about their marriage. To make matters worse, the past Hunter Kings are influencing Dane’s behavior, and the youngest Hunter, Brinn, might well be the most dangerous of them all.

It’s going to be a cold, dark spring, and Cent needs to unite both sides of Embreeville mountain before her eternal life, her relationship with Dane, and her marriage to Stowne come permanently undone.

Another rich Contemporary Appalachian tale about fantastic people and the magic they possess, including LGBTQIA+ characters Human and otherwise.

My Review:
What a brilliant second instalment in the Appalachian Elementals series.

Without looking at my review of Cleaning House, I don't know if I've said this before, but I really appreciate the glimpse into a culture that is at once distinct from my own and yet eerily familiar. My heritage is English with a hefty dose of Scots and Irish, and so much of the language, customs - right down to particular slang words - have carried over the centuries in both British English and Appalachian culture. The author's use of old Scots' dialect is both entertaining and used very effectively as a narrative device - a visible tracker for subtle changes in characters. At one point, I spotted the shift in language and found I was muttering oh god, oh god at my screen because the other characters were still in the dark. I do so love being in the know as a reader. :)

Aside from the wickedly biker-goth setting, there is, of course, Cent's life journey and the situation imposed on her at the end of the first book. While most readers could probably follow what's happening in Keeping House without reading Cleaning House, the connections and dynamics between the characters, human, elemental and otherwise, are all well established, so I wouldn't recommend jumping straight into book two. Why would you want to when this is such a grand story?

What I loved most of all about this book is how it took my stance on all of the different characters (i.e. I loved Stowne and Rayne, wasn't sure about Pyre and hated Dane with a passion) and kicked the feet out from under it. So, yes, Dane is much more than I credited her with, and Stowne and Rayne, well, it's complicated.

A great ensemble cast, atmospheric scenery and some quite terrifying moments all culminate in a great read (and a fair bit of thumb-twiddling while I await book three).

About Jeanne G’Fellers:
Born and raised in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, Science Fiction and Fantasy author Jeanne G’Fellers’ early memories include watching the original Star Trek series with their father and reading the books their librarian mother brought home. Jeanne’s influences include author Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia Butler, Isaac Asimov, and Frank Herbert.

Jeanne lives in Northeast Tennessee with their spouse and five crazy felines. Their home is tucked against a small woodland where they regularly see deer, turkeys, raccoons, and experience the magic of the natural world.


Monday, July 01, 2019

Smashwords sale, new novel soon, plus stepping away from the writing conveyor belt

Every now and then, I remember I'm supposed to let my readers old and new know what I've been up to, what's on the horizon and all that jazz.

Well, this is going to be a short (but hopefully informative) post. :D (OK, not that short. I don't really do short.)

We're midway through 2019 - the first year in many (since 2013) when I haven't already written at least one novel, and I'm OK with that. I realised a couple of years back that I'd somehow ended up on the book factory line, which isn't a bad thing, as it comes from readers actively asking for more.

For instance, I wrote Checking Him Out in 2014, and enough people wanted Noah and Matty's story, so I published Taking Him On in 2015 (and Checking In because people wanted more of Sol and Adam too), and then there was Jesse and Leigh's story, The Making of Us, which I released in 2017. During those three years, I also co-wrote the Seeds of Tyrone series with Raine O'Tierney (three novels), six short stories, seven novellas and seven novels. (I have no idea now how I did it.)

My plan is still to release one final novel for the Checking Him Out series, plus a crossover novella. Also in the pipeline is the final novel in the Gray Fisher trilogy, the next instalment in Hiding Behind The Couch and a collaborative project with David Bridger.

It perhaps goes without saying that I really needed a break from the rapid write-edit-publish-repeat cycle, not so much due to burnout, although I've found it harder to write during the past couple of years. It's more about the way my brain works. I miss having a decent amount of time to rework stories before publication - a costly luxury in the current indie publishing climate. Readers have so many books to choose from, most writers fear losing vast swathes of readership if they leave it too long between books.

Don't stop asking for more, though!

For the time being, I've slowed down a bit, though I haven't been idle. I'm busy with my day jobs (publishing and university), and I've also been working on Meredith's Dagger: the novel I originally wrote in 2011 for NaNoWriMo, which means it was stuffed with redundancies. Note: was stuffed. I've essentially rewritten it, and I'm about to send it to my proofreaders, ready for release next month. I'll say more nearer/at release date time. However, you can preorder a copy from: https://www.beatentrackpublishing.com/meredithsdagger

I've also written a couple of shorter pieces this year, both of which are available for free (either on this blog or via the external links below).

Nina, Pretty Ballerina

Part of Play On... A FREE Valentine's Day collection of short stories, poetry and prose, inspired by the songs of ABBA.



Highlights (co-written with A.M. Leibowitz)

The one where Notes from Boston’s Amelia Roberts takes a much-needed vacation to England and runs into Shaunna Hennessy from Hiding Behind The Couch—a fortuitous meeting for both.



In conclusion, I haven't stopped writing, nor intentionally paused, and I could reach the end of this post and suddenly be struck by an irrepressible urge to stay up writing all night for the next month. But as it stands, the stories likely won't come as thick and fast in future as they did during the past seven years.

If you've only just discovered my writing, you can find the full list of all my stories on this page on my website: http://debbiemcgowan.co.uk/?n1=publications

And throughout July, my stories are heavily discounted (some are free) in the Smashwords sale. Visit: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/debbiemcgowan

Thanks for reading,
Deb x