Jaye Wells

Sabina Kane Covers!

As some of you might have heard, I’m releasing a new Sabina Kane novella in October. FOOL’S GOLD is a prequel novella to Red-Headed Stepchild. It’s set in the late-’70s in L.A. and follows Sabina’s first mission as an assassin. Today, Orbit sent me the cover for the novella, so I thought I’d share it with you.

FOOL’S GOLD is an expanded and updated version of the previously published short story “Vampsploitation,” which appeared in an anthology years ago. I added about 10k words, so it’s pretty much a new story. The preorder links are not yet live on this novella, but they should be up soon. Keep an eye here or through Twitter, Facebook, or my newsletter (form is on the right-hand side of this page) for updates!

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!

 

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A few years ago, I published a short story called, “Violet Tendencies.” The action of the story takes place between THE MAGE IN BLACK and GREEN-EYED DEMON, and answers the question of what happened to Valva the demon. Well, today, Orbit surprised me by sending me a brand new cover for the story!

For reference, here is the original cover. It’s fine, but I never really loved it because it departed so much in style from the series covers. Several months ago I asked to have the cover redone, but never heard anything else–until today when they surprised me.

 

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But check out the new cover!

Buy it at  B&N |AppleKobo*
Read an excerpt here.

Gorgeous, right?!? I am so psyched that all of the Sabina Kane short fiction thus far now have cohesive cover designs. I have to say I’ve been very lucky in the cover department. I hope these get you excited about getting some more Sabina Kane fiction!

*It may take a couple of days for the new cover to get uploaded into the retailer’s system. Also, I am not linking to Amazon because of the current feud with my publisher, but if that’s your preferred retailer for ebooks, it’s available there, as well.

Prospero’s War Series

When I started writing the Prospero’s War series, I had one goal: I wanted to see what would happen if I took the cop shows I loved (The Wire, The Shield, Luther, etc) and added wizards. How would the conversation about the societal costs of addiction and the ever-graying line between good and evil change when filtered through the metaphor of magic?

The resulting series has been compared to J.D. Robb’s In Death series and Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. It also received some very kind early reviews from authors I really respect:

“Jaye Wells has created a fresh, magical world full of potion junkies & alchemists that promises to break new ground in paranormal thrillers.” – Laurell K. Hamilton, NYT Bestselling author of the Anita Blake and Merry Gentry series

“Kate Prospero is my new favorite heroine—imperfect, haunted, driven, and dangerous.” – Kevin Hearne, NYT Bestselling Author of The Iron Druid Chronicles

Dirty Magic showcases seasoned pro, Wells, at the top of her game, and establishes newcomer Kate Prospero as the urban fantasy heroine to beat.” – Vicki Pettersson, NYT Bestselling Author of The Signs of the Zodiac and Celestial Blues series

In the first novel in the series, DIRTY MAGIC (read ch. 1 here), we meet beat cop Kate Prospero, who gets herself assigned to a Magic Enforcement Agency task force focused on breaking up the covens of wizards to cook and sell dirty magic potions. Her first case on the task force involves tracking down the wizard behind a dangerous new potion that turns its users into feral monsters (werewolf-esque). The twist is all the evidence is pointing her to old flame, John Volos, as the culprit.

On August 12,  the second book, CURSED MOON (read ch. 1 here) , comes out. A rare Blue Moon is coming and the city of Babylon is definitely feeling the magic-warping effects. The cops have their hands full keeping things under control as potions go haywire and people start acting strangely, and that’s before a psychotic mage decides to terrorize the city.

If you haven’t given the series a try, I’d suggest starting with DIRTY MAGIC. The books are designed to each have their own case to solve, but there are also major relationship elements that build from one book to another, as well as Kate’s own character arc.

If you’re a fan of urban fantasy, you might enjoy the twist of crime fiction mixed with UF. If you’re a fan of police procedurals, you might find the magic and quirky characters adds a refreshing twist on crime fiction genre conventions.

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Order Dirty Magic now from Audible | B&N | Apple | Indie Bound

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Cursed Moon releases August 12!

Preorder  now from B&N | Apple |Indiebound | Kobo |
Happy reading!

Three Things

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To read an excerpt of MERIDIAN SIX, click here.

 

Prayers

It’s Complex, But Simple

As you can probably tell from my recent blog silence, I’ve been pretty busy lately. Since my last update I’ve attended Phoenix Comicon, gone to PA for my MFA residency at Seton Hill, went on vacation to Asheville, NC, and revised a novel. Oh, and there’s been this little thing happening between my publisher and Amazon taking up a lot of my headspace.

There’s been a lot of ink and blood spilled over this feud, and I’m certainly not interested in adding to fire and brimstone tone. However, I do want to say this: Unlike most of the loudest voices in this debate, what’s happening directly affects my career. Cursed Moon comes out in less than four weeks, and it is not up for preorder on Amazon. This will hurt the book’s sales. It likely will hurt the series. It’s not fair, but there’s not much I can do about it except keep writing and hope that my readers will keep buying my books.

While some authors are calling for a boycott of Amazon, I feel this is a mistake. For one, I’d be a huge hypocrite if I did since I have books for sale there (including a few self-published titles), and I likely will continue doing business with them in the future. Business is complicated and sometimes the choices we’re offered aren’t ideal, but they’re the cards we’re dealt and we must play in order to stay in the game. Second, readers love Amazon. Authors love readers. Trying to alienate the people who buy our books from their favorite source of books is begging for a backlash. I get it: Amazon offers convenience and cheap books. They do lots of things right. So does Hachette, for that matter (I’ve written eight books with them for a reason).

This feud is just proof that the publishing business is a complicated one filled with complicated people. I wish there were easy answers (preferably ones that resulted in my receiving lots of awards and becoming a household name). But what I know for sure is that no middle man can destroy the bond that exists between storytellers and story lovers.  Yes, the business of writing is complex, but the reason we put up with it is simple: We love stories. Even if I have to sell books out of the back of a van down by the river, I will keep writing stories for you. That’s as close to a religion as I have.

I’m sorry that you can’t buy my books at Amazon if that’s your preferred retailer. However, there are lots of other retailers offering great discounts on my books, and I hope that you’ll buy them there instead of simply opting not to buy my books. But the choice really is yours.

Now, on to some more pleasant stuff. First, in anticipation of Cursed Moon’s release, Hachette is offering Dirty Magic for only $1.99 in all ebook formats. That’s almost 80% off the cover price, folks. You can also get the print book for a huge discount at several retailers (except Amazon, who is still carrying the book, but have opted to not discount Hachette backlist titles while this feud continues). So if you haven’t read Dirty Magic now would be a great time to snag a copy. If you have read it, it’s a great time to tell your friends to get in on the action.

Also, as I mentioned, Cursed Moon comes out on August 12. You can read the first chapter here.

 

The Hangover

So there’s this thing that happens after you complete a book. I call it “the hangover” but it could just as easily be called the “post-book malaise.”

Novels take a long time to write. Granted, they take less time now than they used to. My first novel took nine months. My most recent one took about four while I was also juggling grad school and writing two novellas at the same time. But I’m a full-timer now so I’m not grabbing writing time during the kid’s naps any more.

Anyway, The Hangover. After months of constant anxiety wherein you’re convinced you’ll never make this story work and OMG I NEED TO BE WRITING during every other life activity, it’s disorienting at best to suddenly find yourself with free time. You kind of wander around listlessly, wondering who you are without the stress and the story to define you.

It’s sort of like crash-landing back into the real world. After months spent in a place where you call the shots, you arrive back home where people are unpredictable and place demands on you. You have to do all the laundry that’s piled up. There are decisions to be made and you’re so tired from making all the decisions in that world you just left.

I turned in the aforementioned novel and novellas on Saturday. Sunday was easy because my family was around to distract me. Monday, I went to buy a pair of shoes and spent my afternoon reading a book for grad school at a coffee shop. I also spent a lot of the day crying. Suddenly, my brain isn’t preoccupied with story problems so it has a lot of time to worry about things like mortality and the unbearable randomness of life. So I went to yoga and spent a good hour out of my head, which was a huge relief.

I woke up this morning, ready to go back to yoga only to find out class was cancelled. I told my husband in a bit of a panic, “What am I going to do today?” He shot me a level look. “Anything you want.”

Being a full-time writer isn’t like other professions. You don’t ever leave the work behind. I can’t even escape my office because I have to walk by it every day. It’s hard to turn it off and just be present. This is why I’ve started doing yoga five days a week–to give myself a break from the constant worry.

I know I’m not selling this. Mostly I sound like a neurotic Type A who can’t relax, which, in fact, I am. But I’ve also recently realized that this mode of living isn’t working for me. So on top of the normal post-book hangover, I’m also reassessing my relationship with writing, and figuring out how to make it a less fraught experience. To figure out how to spend more time in The Zone and less in the panic zone.

But first I have to figure out what to do with my day. First, I’m going to sit on my ass and watch cooking shows without guilt. Then I am going to dive into my closet and clear out anything that doesn’t fit any more. Maybe this doesn’t sound fun to anyone else, but a little spring cleaning is great for the mental feng shui.

In the middle of all this, I’ll catch myself thinking, “Oh God, I need to be writing!” and gently remind myself that I already did my writing and I deserve a little rest. Then I’ll worry that maybe right at that very moment my editor might be reading the book and thinking I’ve finally lost my magic. Then I’ll shh myself and remind me that no story is perfect and any story problem can be fixed. But she won’t be calling today because that call never comes until you’re finally at peace with having a break.

Soon enough there will be a new book to write. But for now, I’m trying to adjust to reentering the atmosphere and remember I have a place here, too. Maybe other writers don’t go through this strange experience, but if you do, just know you’re not alone. Be gentle with yourself and practice being present. We spend far too much time in other places of our own making. It’s important to learn how to be in this world–the one we don’t control–too.

Deadly Spells Cover Concept

Fun treat for you guys today. I’ve received permission to show you the cover concept for Prospero’s War 3, DEADLY SPELLS! The book will come out in March 2015, but you get to see the pretty now.

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Bam! Isn’t it awesome? Couple things.

1. This is a preliminary version of the cover. My brilliant cover wizard, Lauren Panepinto, had this to say about it:

“For Deadly Spells we are still working on the coloring, lighting, and the background. More ‘alchemical drug den’ feel.”

2. Maybe you’re wondering why we’d release this now if it’s only a preliminary version. Well, the thing about publishing is they work in cycles. Right now, my publisher, Orbit, is hard at work on the titles in the Spring 2015 catalogue. Instead of letting someone else get first crack at revealing the covers, we’re releasing them now so I get the thrill of being the first one to show it to you.

3. As in all the Prospero’s War covers, there are hints about the alchemical process the story is based on hidden in the cover. Hint: Look at the symbols.

4. I’m still writing DEADLY SPELLS, so I don’t have an official blurb to share. I can say it revolves around a murder and the media and lots and lots of secrets.

In case you haven’t see the other covers in the series, I’ve pasted all three below so you can them together. Remember, CURSED MOON comes out in August!

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ConDFW

This Saturday I’ll be attending ConDFW in Addison, TX. It’s a really low-key, fun con, so if you’re in the area stop on by and say Hi!

Here’s my schedule for the day:
PROGRAMMING 2 (Chinaberry)
Saturday, 10am: Don’t Quit Your Day Job!
Panelists: Gloria Oliver, Jaye Wells, K Hutson, Lou Antonelli (M), Paul Black
A popular panel from last year, we bring the perennial topic back: what does one do to survive while waiting for the big break? Our panelists talk about what they had to do to survive, and if there was video evidence to prove it.

READING (Trinity VIII)
Saturday, 12pm: Jaye Wells, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Martha Wells

AUTOGRAPHS (Dealers Room)
Saturday, 1pm: P. N. Elrod, Candace Havens, Jaye Wells

PROGRAMMING 2 (Chinaberry)
Saturday, 3pm: What Is A Parody?
Panelists: A. Lee Martinez (M), Kathy Turski, Bev Hale, KB Bogen, Jaye Wells
To quote Wikipedia: “A parody (/ˈpærədi/; also called spoof, send-up, take-off or lampoon), in current use, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on or trivialize an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of satiric or ironic imitation.” Famous examples are “Weird Al” Yankovic in song and Mel Brooks in movie (and musical!). There are always dangers in parody – Weird Al has been sued because of his parodies before, for instance. Our humorists talk about how to create a parody – and what to watch out for.

Jaye Wells Has No Humility

Are you a fan of the popular game Cards Against Humanity? Do you like my books?

Lucky for you, I’ve created a custom booster pack called “Jaye Wells Has No Humility.” The pack includes forty white answer cards based on both my Sabina Kane and Prospero’s War series. See the link for details and legal stuff.

The booster pack can be downloaded here. Have fun!

 

 

Dirty Magic Press Links

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Dirty Magic is out! I’ve conducted a series of interviews and written guest blogs, and several new outlets and bloggers have also written features and reviews about the book. Below, you’ll find a handy list of links to all.  I’ll be updating it as more are posted.

BUY DIRTY MAGIC NOW:
Amazon | B&N | Apple | Indie Bound
Reviews

Special note: For the month of February, Mysterious Galaxy bookstores have chosen DIRTY MAGIC as the selection for the Fantastic Firsts book club. Sign up for the club and receive a 20% discount on this and all books selected for the program. More info here.

Library Journal: Starred Review, “[Dirty Magic] is grim, gritty, and completely fascinating.”

RT Book Reviews: 4.5 Stars,  Top Pick. “Wells works her own brand of magic by laying the foundation for a complex and gritty new mythos starring a damaged, yet resilient, heroine.”

Under the Covers Book Blog: 5 Feathers. “DIRTY MAGIC is a flat-out high-octane thrill ride in an alluring world. Kate Prospero will become a highly recognizable name in Urban Fantasy.”

The Barnes and Noble Book Blog: Most anticipated Sci-Fi and Fantasy releases of 2014

Interviews

The Big Thrill interview

Hide and Create Podcast Interview

Guest Blog Posts About Dirty Magic

Buzzfeed: 9 Crime Shows That Could Be Improved with Magic

Huffington Post: 8 Ways to Get a Fictional High

SF Signal: Bathtub Alchemy: Updating Established Magic Systems

Urban Fantasy Investigations: We Built this City on Dirty Magic

Paranormal Haven: Making Monsters

Fantasy Book Critic: Revisionist History

RT Book Reviews: The Left-Handed Path

Under the Covers Book Blog: Risky Research