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Hunted Fate eBook Releases 7/24/2017!

I know it's been a while since I've put out a newsletter, but I've been concentrating on finishing book 3 in the Threads of the Moirae series, AKA Hunted Fate. And it's finally done! Yay!

And we now know there will be a fourth book. More yay!

Hunted Fate releases as an eBook on July 24th, 2017. (The print release will be October 17th, so stay tuned.)

I'll have a cover reveal soon, and more information will follow. 

If you haven't had a chance to read the first two books, Broken Fate is a free ebook on Amazon. The print version is also on sale for $6.37 right now. Avenging Fate is $3.99 for the ebook, and the print version is also on sale for $7.82.  

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Broken Fate Is Getting an Audiobook

The other big news this month is that Broken Fate is finally getting an audiobook! This was talked about months ago, but life happens. But now we've got a great narrator and things are moving along. 

For a sneak peek, you can listen to Tyr Tharsis' audition

The audiobook should be released later this summer or in early fall. 

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Is Oz Real?

One of the questions I'm asked most often is whether the Land of Oz theme park featured in Broken Fate is a real place, or did I dream it up? It's absolutely real (and I got to go there as a kid). This is its story and why I featured it in the novel. (The attached picture is from the original brochure.)

I’m a sucker for abandoned places. They feel suspended in time, as though they’re just waiting to pick up where they left off. Abandoned amusement parks are especially interesting to me. When places that were so full of life and joy go silent and are left to rot, it seems especially poignant.

The Land of Oz theme park in Beech Mountain, NC is one such place. It wasn’t a theme park in the sense that we think of them today. It didn’t have huge rides, for one thing. It was more of a themed hike through the woods with opportunities to visit locations from the film and interact with the characters. It was only open for ten years before it closed, the victim of larger parks, economics, and changing tourism patterns, among other things.

After it closed, everything was left to rot. As you’d expect, it became a target for vandalism and theft. What the vandals didn’t destroy, nature did. But then something wonderful happened: In the 1990’s, a development group decided to build houses on the property and, as part of that development, resurrect some of the park. Reopening it as a theme park wasn’t feasible, but neither did it have to suffer such pitiful neglect.

The developers, with the help of former employees and visitors, have since restored parts of the park. My favorite part of the restoration story is the official “brick amnesty.” The developers asked anyone who had any bricks from the Yellow Brick Road to please return them. No questions would be asked. All they wanted were the bricks. They received a surprisingly large number of them back.

Today Oz opens for one day every October and welcomes visitors, former employees, and Oz fanatics for a celebration of the park. Proceeds help with further restorations. You can also rent Dorothy’s house for short stays, have a birthday celebration in the park, or even get married in Oz. Here’s a short video that shows a bit of the park:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9ufRSfqVeU

When I needed a location for some of the most significant scenes in Broken Fate, the idea of using the park popped into my head. It was especially appropriate for Alex and Atropos, both avid readers and lovers of the original Oz books. It’s fitting that some of their happiest and saddest moments happen in a place that saw much joy, but also its share of sadness.

I took some liberties with Oz in Broken Fate. For one thing, the characters experience some locations that were destroyed and no longer exist. For another, the scenes in the book are written as though the park is still an abandoned ruin, not the improved version that exists today. I used the park as a metaphor for the idea that everything, no matter how awesome, dies eventually. I hope I captured the tension that exists between remembering what was, accepting what is, and finding beauty in the difference.

If you want to learn more about the park and see some great archival photos, you can visit the developer’s website. http://www.emeraldmtn.com/LandofOz/landofoz.html

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Q&A

Author Q&A

I'm going to include an author Q&A in most of my newsletters. If you want to ask me a question, you can feel free to contact me through my website. Sometimes I may ask another author to answer a question, just to get a different perspective. This month's question is:

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

I'd like to say I'd choose something noble and mysterious like a Phoenix or a unicorn. In reality, I think I'm more of a groundhog: Content to hide out underground, doing my thing out of the public eye, and only surfacing reluctantly when someone drags me out. 

I'm a huge introvert (which is why being a writer is the perfect job for me) and I'm happiest when I'm writing and reading in my little work cave. I won't bite if forced to come out, but I may count the minutes until I can go back in my hole.

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New Release I'm Most Excited About

When Disney bought the Star Wars franchise, one of the first things they did was give all the old books from the expanded universe the boot. They were no longer considered "canon."

This made me mad because some of those books were awesome, most notably the Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn. I always felt that those books would make a great launching point for the movie franchise's revival. (Not that anyone's listening to me.) But the books got the boot and so did the blue-skinned villain. 

I wasn't the only angry fan, so I'm glad to see a new Thrawn book coming out and that he's being put back into the Star Wars universe. This book is his origin story, tracing his rise to power. 

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Newsletter Exclusive Giveaway

All subscribers to my newsletters are automatically entered into a giveaway for a $5.00 USD Amazon.com gift card. You don't have to do anything! 

How it works: All subscribers will be assigned a number and then I'll use Random.org to choose a winning number. The drawing will be held on 4/30/2017 and I'll notify the winner as soon as possible. If, for whatever reason, the winner doesn't want their prize or I cannot contact them through a valid email address, I will draw again.

(You must have a valid email address to receive the prize and note that while international winners are welcome, the card will be in US dollars.) 

The winner will be posted in the next newsletter. Good luck!

Last issue's winner was B. Taylor! Congratulations!

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Words of Wisdom