Now Available: Masks: Ordinary Champions (2nd Edition) Plus Other Book News

First book news: And here we go! :D The second edition of the third book of my Masks trilogy is now out. Check out the blurb and an excerpt over at Queerteen Press’s book page, and if you purchase directly from the publisher, you’ll be getting a 20% new release discount (offer good for a week only).

Second book news: The Glass Minstrel was reviewed (or re-reviewed) over at The Novel Approach. Check it out. My little baby’s all grown up now. Sniff!

Third book news: The book page for Henning (Book 1): The Hunted Prince is now up over at Queerteen Press. Here’s the cover:

And here’s the book blurb:

Young Henning Babkis has learned not to consider himself to be anything special. Ignored and taken for granted by his family, his education suffering as a result of their neglect, he nevertheless struggles to fit in and improve himself, though with unimpressive results. He’s also learned not to expect anything more for himself, convinced that he’s doomed to live his life in a deep closet, surrounded by people who don’t care and who’d have given him a lot of grief if they were to find out he’s gay.

Things come to a sudden head when Henning’s fifteenth birthday rolls around. An unexpected and terrifying attack by a creature from another world shakes up his quiet life, and Norbert steps forward with remarkable and shocking revelations as to Henning’s true identity. And from a boy who’s grown up to think himself as a nobody, Henning discovers a previous life in a world called Wintergrave — a world of magic, romance, and danger.

In the company of a motley bunch of former warriors, Henning must reclaim his former life and regain his powers in order to defeat an old threat. But in order to do that, he needs to convince a certain former lieutenant that the two of them were deeply bonded before and need to reform their connection now in order to get their powers back. The wrinkle? Ellery Thomas is in a happy relationship with another boy in this lifetime.

As I’ve noted before, books one and two are nothing more than one long story (about 110,000 words total) that’d been cut into two volumes. So the cover art for the second book is the same as the first, and the text is the only thing different. Book one will be released in e-book format on October 5. I’ll be doing a giveaway for both books when the time comes, so watch this space.

The Glass Minstrel E-Book Giveaway at TNA

I’m actually a few hours late (go, day job!), but better late than never. ¬__¬ Anyway, the promised e-book giveaway for The Glass Minstrel is now up at The Novel Approach. You’ve got till Aug. 24 (hey, two days before my birthday!) to toss your name in the hat. Good luck!

To spice things up a bit:

The best interpretation of the Trepak Dance as far as I’m concerned. See? Only the best for you guys. 

Now Available: The Glass Minstrel (2nd Edition)

Well, here ya go. :D The second edition of The Glass Minstrel is available in e-book format. If you purchase your copy directly from the publisher, you’ll receive a 20% New Release discount, and that’ll be offered for a week.

And here’s the blurb:

It is the Christmas season in mid-19th century Bavaria. Two fathers, Abelard Bauer and Andreas Schifffer, are brought together through the tragic deaths of their sons. Bauer, a brilliant toymaker, fashions glass Christmas ornaments, and his latest creation is a minstrel with a secret molded into its features.

When Schiffer sees Bauer’s minstrel ornament in the toy shop, he realizes that Bauer is struggling to keep his son’s memory alive through his craft. At first he tries to fault him for this, but then recognizes that he, too, is seeking solace and healing by reading his son’s diary, a journal that reveals, in both painful as well as beautiful detail, the true nature of Heinrich’s relationship with Stefan.

Fifteen-year-old Jakob Diederich is the son of a poor widow. The boy is burdened with his own secret, and he develops an obsession with a traveling Englishman who stays at the inn where Jakob works. The lives of Bauer, Schiffer, and Diederich intersect during the holiday as Schiffer tries to focus on his family in the present, Bauer struggles to reconcile his past, and Jakob copes with an uncertain future.

Echoing the sensibilities of melancholy 19th Century folktales, lyrical prose and rich period detail quietly weave a moving tale of redemption, hope, and haunting, but timeless, themes.

Go here to get a copy. Hope you enjoy the book if you do snag one!

Cover Art and Some Bookish Stuff

Ayup, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? ¬___¬ Welp… I haven’t been idle, that’s for sure. Masks #7 (still untitled) is coming along slowly, and what’s largely keeping me from going full steam is the fact that I’ve been putting in extra time here and there at my day job.

Anyway, we have cover art for Masks: Ordinary Champions.

That’s the third and last image I could find from the same artist using the same superhero theme. As with the other two books, the figure shown here is representative (not entirely accurately because it’s frankly impossible to do that with stock images) of specific characters that figure largely in each volume. As I’ve noted in a past entry, the first book cover represents Magnifiman, the second book cover represents Miss Pyro, and the third represents The Devil’s Trill. Beefed up. If you’ve read the first edition of the book, you know why his physique changes to something like this.

The book will be released in September, and I’ll definitely be doing an e-book giveaway for it. Since it’s the last volume of the trilogy, I’ll be offering all three books to whoever wins the giveaway. More information will be coming, for sure. Watch this space.

In additional publishing news, the print book of Masks: Evolution is now available. For a week, it’s offered at a 10% discount if you purchased directly from the publisher’s site. The offer won’t apply to other distributors. There’s also a giveaway of the proof over at Goodreads. If you’re a member, you can go here and add your name.

Another giveaway going on over at Goodreads is the proof of The Glass Minstrel. This is the link to that giveaway. As a reminder, I’ll also be doing another guest blog on this book, this time I’ve got an e-book copy of the 2nd edition up for grabs. I’ll be sharing the link here when the time comes.

TGM: Ah Just Made a Liar o’ Mahself

So my boss gave me ten days off because of my cold. A bit of an unnecessary length of time for recuperation since I’m practically healed now, and I can go back to work on Monday. Oh, it’s tempting, waiting till next Thursday to go hustle my butt back to Berkeley, but I seriously get bored, lounging around the house, even with my running list of chores. Plus since I only work part-time, I don’t get paid for sick days.

As a quickie update regarding my cold, then, thumbs up. :) Two lessons learned from this week-long crapfest…

OTC stuff meant for cold symptoms and so on doesn’t work and is a waste of my money. All those fancy-schmancy, unpronounceable words only got me woozy and irritable in the end.

You know what worked? Ibuprofen and Benadryl. Yep. Just those two. No wimpy-ass, updated decongestants or non-drowsy stuff for me. First generation antihistamines know how to whip your system into shape. True, they make you drowsy, but since I’ve got extra time off, it was a price I was more than willing to pay.

Anyway, on to the main point of this post…

Remember when I said that I wasn’t going to touch The Glass Minstrel for its second edition? Yeah, I lied. While the book didn’t really need another thorough editing work, I still asked to go over the print proofs for surface-level errors, and I found quite a few. Mostly repeated words in a passage and a few long, awkward sentences that needed to be broken up.

The biggest change I made, though, involved THE scene. Jakob’s masturbation scene. It was a controversial passage that Mark, my previous publisher, and I went back and forth over, and I was more than willing to hit delete in case he found it too explicit. We ended up keeping it in the book, but for the second edition, I saw that it was borderline explicit and not really reflective of the books I’ve published with Queerteen Press, so I lightly revised the scene for the new edition.

Oh, sure, the scene’s still there. It has to be. It’s an important one in terms of how Jakob deals with his sexuality and his delusions about Covell (if you’ve read the first edition, you know how and why I say that – I’m trying to avoid spoilers here). But it’s more suggestive than explicit now and certainly more in line with the way Heinrich and Stefan’s sexual encounters are described.

So the proofs are back with my publisher, I’m very pleased with the way things turned out, and I can’t wait to get my copy of the second edition.

To prove further that I made a liar of myself, I decided to do a giveaway for the new edition. It’ll be mid-August, and I’ll keep you all posted. Now if only the pizza delivery guy would just show up… I’m starving.