A Key, an Egg, an Unfortunate Remark, Chapters 1-6

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New book! As usual, I’m providing a free sample to pique your interest, but this time, I thought it would be best to drop all the sample chapters into one post. They aren’t very long and I think it reads better this way.

Curious what the books about? The description is here.

 

CHAPTER ONE

AN UNWELCOME PARTY GUEST CATCHES A GLIMPSE OF HIMSELF

Evening had fallen on Seattle, and there were a great many people going somewhere they didn’t want to go. An ER nurse with an aching back, a recent graduate about to ask his father if he could move back in, a middle-aged woman facing another evening of her boyfriend’s tedious anime and even more tedious sex—all felt the helpless resignation that comes before an unpleasant, unavoidable task.

Of those thousands of people, none were expecting a warmer welcome than the man standing at Marley Jacob’s front gate, and none were more mistaken.

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A Key, An Egg, An Unfortunate Remark

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Today is the release day for my new urban fantasy novel, a standalone called A Key, an Egg, an Unfortunate Remark. It’s a pacifist urban fantasy; in a genre where violent asskickers act as though modern cities are lawless hellholes, the protagonist in this book has dedicated herself to stopping supernatural evil without violence.

She’s also a sixty-five year old cross between Auntie Mame and Gandalf.

Here’s the cover:

Key/Egg cover

Art and design by Duncan Eagleson

Fans of the Twenty Palaces series: This is not Twenty Palaces. Those books were about limited options, desperate violence, and people who live like criminals. A Key, an Egg, an Unfortunate Remark is much closer to an amateur detective novel, but with vampires, ghosts, and magic spells. Here’s the cover from the back copy:

A MYSTERIOUS KILLING

After years of waging a secret war against the supernatural, Marley Jacobs put away her wooden stakes and silver bullets, then turned her back on violence. She declared Seattle, her city, a safe zone for everyone, living and undead. There would be no more preternatural murder under her watch.

But waging peace can make as many enemies as waging war, and when Marley’s nephew turns up dead in circumstances suspiciously like a vampire feeding, she must look into it. Is there a new arrival in town? Is someone trying to destroy her fragile truce? Or was her nephew murdered because he was, quite frankly, a complete tool?

As Marley investigates her nephew’s death, she discovers he had been secretly dabbling in the supernatural himself. What, exactly, had he been up to, and who had he been doing it with? More importantly, does it threaten the peace she has worked so hard to create? (Spoiler: yeah, it absolutely does.)

One of the benefits of self-publishing: I get to put a joke spoiler warning on the back cover.

As you can guess, the tone for this book is much lighter than my others. In truth, I wrote the first draft as a palate cleanser after three Twenty Palaces novels in a row. That means it’s more cheerful than my previous works–even more than King Khan.

But it’s still a Harry Connolly novel. There are vampires, ghosts, werewolves, fearless monster hunters, and all the usual tropes, but I’ve put my spin on them.

You can read five (short) sample chapters here. Do it! They’re fun!

Or you can buy them right now (more vendor links as they make the book available.):

| Amazon (print & ebook) | Apple iBooks (ebook) | Barnes & Noble (print & ebook) | Books-a-Million (print) | CreateSpace (print) | IndieBound (print) | Kobo (ebook) | Smashwords (ebook) |

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham #15in2015

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The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars, #1)The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Obviously, I was a fan of the show and I backed the Kickstarter. I even went to the theater to see the film. When this book came out, I bought it right away, but it languished on the shelf.

It shouldn’t have. It’s not the deepest detective novel I’ve ever read, but it was addictive as hell. I lost half a work day pushing through to the end.

This is the first novel I’ve ever read about characters from another. medium and being able to picture the actors delivering the dialog had a strange effect. There was a flush of warm feeling because I enjoyed the show so much, but it took me out of the story, too. Every time a scene with Wallace would end, I’d start thinking about Percy Daggs’s career, and wonder how much acting work he was getting now.

Still, it was compulsively readable, funny in spots, and while the scenes between Keith and Veronica didn’t have the warmth of the TV shows (because how could they without those two actors) it was still Keith and Veronica.

Good stuff. Recommended if, like me, you enjoy private investigator novels.

Book 3 in #15in2015



Buy a copy.

The Blog Tour Continues, Part Next

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Continuing from the first post.

Over at the Skiffy and Fanty blog, I wrote an entry for their “My Superpower” series. My superpower is an unusual kind of invulnerability.

“It’s Dangerous to Go Alone” is a post about figuring out why most people didn’t like my old series, and what if anything I should change for The Great Way, hosted by David B Coe.

“Let’s Fail On Our Own Terms” is about making ridiculous creative choices and standing by them, no matter what.

On Nick Kaufmann’s blog, I wrote about The Scariest Part of the trilogy, which is also the longest chapter in the trilogy.

Also, author Joshua Palmatier interviewed me about the series. I talk here about the hardest part of the trilogy to write, among other things.

An amusing review posted over at reddit.

And not to bury the lede, but once again here’s that starred review in Publishers Weekly.

If you found any of that interesting, please share.

The Way Into Chaos reviewed in Publisher’s Weekly

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And it got a starred review!

For those who don’t really follow publishing, that’s as good as it gets, short of an end of the year list. I’m extremely happy about it, and I plan to stick

“This twisty, subversive novel will win Connolly a whole new set of fans.”

all over the internet.

Randomness for 2/8

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1) A Choose-Your-Own adventure game based on Twitter accounts.

2) Photographs of an iceberg that had recently flipped over to reveal the gem-like underside.

3) A very long exposure photograph of a rock climber wearing glow sticks.

4) Seattle sidewalk art that is invisible until it gets wet, aka “rain art”.

5) Amazon readers post troll reviews of anti-vaxxer’s “pro-Measles” children’s book.

6) Eight tips for studying smarter.

7) Leave aside the association of “white” with good and “black” with bad, this is just terrible phrasing.

The Blog Tour Begins, part first

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As mentioned yesterday, the third and final book in The Great Way has come out, and I’m doing something of a blog post to spread the word. Some links!

I wrote advice for running a successful Kickstarter on Charles Stross’s blog. It’s not new information over there, but I don’t think I’ve ever organized it so well.

Using the video series EVERY FRAME A PAINTING as inspiration, I sat down to closely analyze a section of text. I think it’s valuable to look at individual sentences and phrases at that level because those simple choices have such an effect on the story as a whole.

Over on Mary Robinette Kowal’s My Favorite Bit series, I wrote about my favorite thing in the whole 375K-word trilogy. In fact, with all the chases, fight scenes, big magic, triumph and tragedy in those books, I suspect readers will be surprised to find out my favorite bit is a single line of dialog.

I also have the Spotlight editorial in the Online Writers Workshop newsletter, where I talk about the concept of talent, why it doesn’t mean what people think it does, and why it’s pernicious.

Today’s post appeared on Kate Elliott’s blog. It’s about how a Christmas holiday season where my wife and I squeezed nine people (including a newborn baby) into a two bedroom apartment, and how that made me change the way I think about my writing.

Finally, not a blog post, but a review: The Way Into Chaos written up at BoingBoing.

If any of those seem interesting, give them a read. If you think they’re valuable, give them a share. Also, there’s more to come.

More in part next.

Let me tell you about something cool

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Back in 2012, Fred Hicks, the big wig over at Evil Hat game company (and I can’t type “Evil Hat” without adding an “e” to the end), and Chuck Wendig, author and editor, invited me to write for an anthology based on one of EH’s games. The game was called Don’t Rest Your Head, and it was an rpg about insomniacs who suddenly find themselves trapped in Mad City, a nightmarish dreamscape full of evil shit that wants to eat you. Plus side: the characters also get lucid-dreaming-like powers, and the whole thing is very weird and cool.

The story I wrote, called “Don’t Chew Your Food” was reprinted in my short fiction collection, but there are a whole bunch of terrific writers in the table of contents: Mur Lafferty, CE Murphy, Laura Anne Gilman, Stephen Blackmoore, and more. Check it out, seriously.

Which brings us to today. Evil Hat is putting out a “Don’t Rest Your Head” card-building game, and a creature that I invented, the Shameful, is on one of the cards. (!!!)

Image behind the cut.

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The Way Into Darkness Post

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Today, finally, is the day that the third and final book in my epic fantasy trilogy will be released. The page for book two is right here, and the page for book one, with the introductory synopsis and the links to sample chapters, is right here.

If you haven’t read either of these books, you don’t want to read book three. It’s all one story.

How about a cover?

cover for The Way Into Darkness

The Way Into Darkness, Book Three of The Great Way, art by Chris McGrath, design by Brad Foltz

Amazing, isn’t it?

Spoilers for the story so far if you read the synopsis below. For real, if you think you might want to read these books, stop reading here and check out the post about book one or read the sample chapters.

Or, if you’re a Spoilerphile, here’s the synopsis for the book:

BOOK THREE OF THE GREAT WAY: What was once the Peradaini Empire is now a wasted landscape of burned, empty cities and abandoned farmlands. The Blessing, now more numerous than ever, continues to spread across the continent, driving refugees to the dubious safety of the city walls. Unharvested crops mean that few strongholds have enough provisions to last the winter, although most know the grunts will take them before starvation will.

But hope survives. A piece of stolen magic just might halt the spread of The Blessing if Tejohn and Cazia can find a scholar with the skill to recreate the spell. If such a person still lives.

Unfortunately, they are nearly out of time. The few remaining human enclaves are isolated and under siege. Worse, The Blessing has spread to other sentient creatures. If Cazia and Tejohn are going to strike back at their monstrous enemy, they can not delay.

And there’s another, deeper question left unaddressed: where did The Blessing come from, and why have they invaded Kal-Maddum?

The Way Into Darkness is the final book in The Great Way, wrapping up the story begun in The Way Into Chaos and continued in The Way Into Magic.

If things seemed desperate in the previous books, this one brings humanity to the brink.

Some blurbs:

“One hard-hitting, take-no-prisoners, breathtaking holey moley of a book.” — C.E. Murphy, author of Walker Papers

“Highly recommended, if you want a stay-up-all-night, forget-to-eat, must-have-the-next-book-NOW reading experience.” — CC Finlay, author of Traitor to the Crown: A Spell for the Revolution and editor of F&SF

“Complex world, tight action, awesome women as well as men; Connolly was good right out of the gate and just keeps getting better.” — Sherwood Smith, author of Inda

“Gripping, absorbing, and fast-moving, an epic fantasy for those of us who like it lively” — Charles Stross, author of Halting State and The Laundry Files.

“Heroic in scope, but intimately human, and richly detailed.” — Kat Richardson, author of the Greywalker series.

Here is the page for book one. Here is the page for book two. To order book three, just click below.

| Amazon (print and ebook) | Apple iBooks (ebook) | Barnes & Noble (print and ebook) | Books-a-Million (print) | CreateSpace (print) | IndieBound (print) | Kobo (ebook) | Smashwords (ebook) |

When Is The Super Bowl? #seo

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It starts at 6:30 EST on February 1st, 2015, although pre-game shows begin at noon EST. (My books.)

This year, the Seattle Seahawks are trying to repeat their championship win by defeating the New England Patriots, and while I’d like to see them win, I personally will not be watching.

For one, there’s this:

For another, I write books. Check out my new epic fantasy series.

#SEO