Things are moving slowly but consistently forward with writing Bane of Hounds – the third book in the College Fae series. It is up for a pre-order at this time and will release in September. This book is taking a bit longer than I expected and I’m sure dear reader you already know why – its been hard to focus in 2020 with all that we are being thrown at us.

However, rejoice! Bane of Hounds is now at about 58,000+ words with a goal of 60,000+ for the final rough draft that Beta Readers will view, starting July 19th.

What do Beta Readers do?

Speaking of Beta Readers today is the final call for you to sign up to be one of them. NOW CLOSED

On July 19th, Beta Readers gain access to the 60,000 words plus rough draft copy of Bane of Hounds via an online Beta Reading App called Beta Books.

  • Beta Reading takes place between July 19th and August 8th (about 3 weeks).
  • Beta Readers for Bane of Hounds must have read and reviewed Never Date a Siren and A Study in Spirits. Bane has a lot of call backs to these two books in the series.
  • Readers view the story via an online app where they can provide feedback on the story chapter by chapter.
  • Your feedbook is only seen my myself. I will respond back to your comments via the same app.
  • The Beta Reading app tracks who is reading and where you stopped.
  • All Beta Readers are expected to post a honest review ready on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and/or Bookbub on the day the book launches.
  • You will be viewing a final rough draft, so changes will be ongoing especially because of feedback.
  • This final version will be sent onward to my paid editor so be aware this version may still have typos.

Apply to be an ARC Reader

Beta Reading is a lot of back and forth between the reader and author and does take time. You might prefer to be an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) instead.

  • Tentative date for ARC’s is September 1st.
  • ARC Readers for Bane of Hounds must have read and reviewed Never Date a Siren and A Study in Spirits. Bane has a lot of call backs to these two books in the series.
  • ARC readers will receive the book after my editor has read through and I have made corrections.
  • Through a BookFunnel link you will be able to download the book for free in ebook format (mobi for Kindle or epub for other readers). Or as a pdf.
  • All ARC Readers are expected to post a honest review ready on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and/or Bookbub by October 31st.

I thought I’d give you a little preview and more information about the series, the new book, and my thoughts on how the series will come together in a Q&A.

What’s the story in Bane of Hounds?

You might remember that at the end of A Study in Spirits, Chancellor Bandemer saddled Brigit (our fae dryad) and Logan (our human bard) with being mediators between the fae and human students?

This unpaid job is a big pain in the neck for our friends! The first chapter begins with Brigit and Logan dealing with a banshee who is disrupting campus life.

Things quickly grow more complicated when they rescue a Black Dog who speaks Dooms (dire prophecies). Especially when the dog tells of danger that may harm Brigit’s mother, Queen Elixia.

You can read a sample here – on the Bane of Hounds page.

How does the book fit into the series?

Our heroes are in their third year at Leopold Otto in Gehiemtur, Bewachterberg. They both still have a lot to learn about themselves and each other. Brigit needs to learn not to be so impulsive, and Logan how to be more proactive. They are two sides of a personality coin.

For example, Brigit’s impulsive behavior (leaping before she looked) in Knight of Cups almost got her killed. Logan’s passive nature and wanting to believe the good in everyone, is how he got mixed up with Sibyl in the first place (Never Date a Siren).

Both of them are finding out how to be better people.

What is happening with Logan and Brigit’s relationship?

I’ve been asked by readers if Logan and Brigit will have a romance. To be clear, when I started writing the series I never planned on them necessarily having one. I don’t write paranormal romance and I don’t choose fantasy books myself because they have a romance in them (although that is an added bonus).

The romance is not the focus of the series. However, having that – it does look like Brigit and Logan have more than a friend connection. That was hinted about in A Study in Spirits when Brigit attended the library opening. It’s been a year since those events and things have been on a slow boil ever since.

One thing I suggest readers of Bane of Hounds pay attention to is how others perceive Logan and Brigit’s friendship. And what Brigit (who rarely hides her opinion) thinks of that.

For some readers they may wonder why I don’t get into the head of the character with a “Brigit thought” – “Logan thought” – style. Sorry, but that’s not my style. To do a “Bright thought she liked Logan” is pretty much high school composition level of writing and you won’t see that with my writing.

Another word about character development

Going back through the reviews and feedback from readers on the first two books, I wanted to dive into something a few people raised – which is the character of Logan.

I think there’s been a lot of misunderstanding of this character based upon the popular trend at this time of having all heroes (both male and female) be some sort of smart-ass, joke-cracking, sword-yielding – to put it bluntly – asshole. I don’t write about those characters (generally).

Yes, Brigit is very “feisty” but that is due to her fae blood and being raised in a dangerous environment.

If every hero has to be some sort of gym rat jerk, I have to ask myself what we are teaching people about humanity? Sure this is fiction, but I want my world to be populated with real people and not stereotypes.

I also really do NOT like the idea that male heroes all have to be aggressive jerks and somehow a woman sees that as a positive trait for a partner. That romantic drivel sets women and men back to another century. Can we move on?

Can I read the books out of order?

Probably Bane of Hounds (3) draws upon events from book 1 (Never Date a Siren) and 2 (A Study in Spirits) more than #1 and #2 do. Some of the questions left hanging in those previous books will be answered such as: Brigit’s dreams, why the silver leaf has bonded with Brigit, and Logan’s relationship with the maestro as his mentor.

So I recommend reading them in order, although each book is a standalone.

After reading Wicked Wolves, which had some pretty adult topics (i.e. sexual and physical abuse), I wonder why the College Fae books are Young Adult?

When I gave Never Date a Siren to my beta readers they all felt it fitted the YA fantasy market. Probably because it didn’t have violence or sexual content.

However, these books are still designed for advanced readers due to the complexity of the world-building, the language, and story. If you are an adult reader who just doesn’t want to read what is currently being billed as “adult,” I’d recommend checking this series out – it is anything but juvenile.

Unfortunately, a lot of fantasy books now being published have gratuitous sex and violence because they think it is cool, or because they are copying trendy books that sold well. I don’t see a reason to ad this content when it serves no purpose. In the short stories for Wicked Wolves it did, for the College Fae series it didn’t.

I personally feel some of the biggest trends in fantasy is counter to fostering healthy self-esteem in women and girls. Aren’t we way past falling in love with a jerk of a werewolf?

But I liked the stories in Wicked Wolves. Many had an edge.

Don’t worry – I have some short stories I’m working on that will return to those edgier, Wicked Fairytales. So stay tuned. I can guarantee you that what I write will not all be happy, fun times. So enjoy the fun in College Fae while it lasts!

Can I buy Bane of Hounds now?

Beta Readers can start reading the book next week. ARC readers will get it about two weeks before it goes live. Readers who would like to support me financially can buy it as a pre-release NOW!

Just a note about the pricing of the books. Never Date a Siren will remain free on all platforms; A Study in Spirits fluctuates from 99 cents (on sale) to $1.99; and Bane of Hounds is priced at $2.99 (as will be book #4 in 2021).

As a reader you may not realize the commission I receive at this price points.

  • Free = ZERO
  • 99 cents = .35 cents
  • $1.99 = .70 cents
  • $2.99 = $1.05.

For me to continue writing I must start setting books prices where I can cover my costs. I have a modest goal for my book sales and would like to see it increase my family’s emergency savings.

With that in mind, I will be starting a new series of short stories to generate income. These will be my TIP JAR short story collection. I’ll write more about that at a later date so stay tuned!

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