dragons, sociopaths, and zombie elves

YIPPEE! I love these stories and am so excited to share them with you!!!

So, in case you didn’t know it yet — a few days back, I pubbed my latest book:

The Elven Dead and Other Legends of the Light-Walkers!

This one is an anthology of 5 short stories and one novella, all set in my Light-Walkers universe. Long story short (HA HA HA), I let this one linger on my back burner for two years before I stirred the pot a final time (READ: did final edits) and got the whole six-course meal served up in edible form. Yay for overdue follow-through and resulting accomplishment!

“Who are you? And who in hells am I?”

The Light-Walkers: an otherworldly people of magic, mystery, and soul-rending purpose.

The Light-Walkers: arrogance, love, desperation, and a fierce determination to protect their magical birthright and their world–even if it means destroying ours.

The Light-Walkers: always elusive, forever unreachable, and yet…among us.

Playful sorcery that brings down nations. The fear factor in a magical venom cocktail. Undead, astral-projecting elves. In five short stories and one novella, Courtney Cantrell offers fresh glimpses into the world she uncovered in Rethana’s SurrenderRethana’s Trial, and The Dying of the Light. New characters, old friends, and base traitors populate this collection. Delve deep and sink your teeth into the marrow of the Light-Walker world. If the dragons don’t grab you, the undead elven soldiers will.

Just don’t turn your back on them.

Buy now for $2.99 on Kindle! (Paperback coming soon!)

SQUEEING ALL OVER THE PLACE. Enjoy, me hearties!

what to do with this blog

I don’t know what to do with this blog.

Christmas 2018. Rawr.

I always have good intentions, especially at the start of the year. New Year’s resolutions are fantastic! New Year’s resolutions suck! The age-old story of all human constructs, pretty much. I could philosophize further on that, but I’ve done that before, and regurgitation takes too much effort.

Part of my plan for 2019 is to pay more attention to the business side of my writing. The business side of writing, they tell me, must include an online location where readers can track me down and get more info on my books and maybe even rummage around in my life a bit.

(NOTE: anytime you’re rummaging around in someone’s online life, all you’re getting is their [carefully?] curated online persona; you never get the whole story of who they are or what they’re doing SO BE YE FOREWARNED THERE MIGHT BE DRAGONS AND ALL THAT YARN.)

Anyway, they tell me I need a platform.

I’ve abandoned Facebook (you’ll find me if you look there, but only because I haven’t gotten around to logging on and deleting that account), and I’m not faithful enough to Twitter to make that a real platform. Unless I am. I don’t know. I love Twitter, and I’m there daily again these days (after a 15ish-month hiatus last year), but I’m not sure how effective it is as an author platform for one such as I.

And by that, I mean an author-publisher who hasn’t established herself elsewhere first.

And speaking of that, I’m pondering trying traditional publishing again this year. But that is another post and shall be written another time.

ANYWAY again, this post you’re reading is my announcement that I shall, yet again, seek to be more present here? It’s a 50-50 chance I’ll actually follow through on it. Frankly, the main thing that keeps me away is that if I’m spending time writing, I’d rather write story than blogpost. There’s another full post in that thought, too.

I have a lot of those, which is, mayhap, an indication that I NEED to be here more.

Getting circular here, aren’t we?

Well-a-day. Happy 2019, y’all. Here’s to a new year full of light, love, compassion, mercy, generosity, inclusivity, and clarity. Maybe thoughts on those things will spill over to this blog, too.

Hide and watch.

2018 book reads

Well, we’re multiple days into 2019, and I’ve not yet updated the two of you (who still read this blog) on my reading list for the previous year. So here ya go.

To recap: last year’s goal was to read one nonfiction book concurrently with every fiction book. That sort of worked out. I met my goal in that I read more nonfiction in 2018 than I’d read in the previous decade; I didn’t meet my goal in that I didn’t match the nonfiction:fiction ratio 1:1, mainly because some of the nonfiction took WAAAAAY longer to read than the fiction. So I usually ended up reading 3 fiction to every nonfiction. I have not done the math on this and don’t intend to do it; just going by feel here, folks.

For 2019, I intend to continue a similar pattern, except that I’m not going out of my way to devour the nonfic. Fiction is still my true joy, and I need a crapton more of that in my life (who doesn’t?). My only real goal for 2019 is to beat 2018’s number of books read. I only managed 50 this past year, and although I’m in competition with no one but myself and refuse to beat myself up over my “low” number of reads, 50 just doesn’t feel like enough. Again, going by feel. It’s how I roll.

And now, without further ado or adon’t…

Courtney’s 2018 Book Reads

1. Invasive by Chuck Wendig
2. Cress (Lunar Chronicles, #3) by Marissa Meyer
3. God Behaving Badly by David T. Lamb
4. Cirque du Freak: A Living Nightmare by Darren Shan
5. MaddAddam (MaddAddam, #3) by Margaret Atwood
6. Truthwitch (Witchlands, #1) by Susan Dennard
7. The Sin of Certainty by Peter Enns
8. Carniepunk
9. Twilight Eyes by Dean Koontz
10. Wicked as They Come (Blud, #1) by Delilah S. Dawson
11. Lament (Books of Faerie, #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
12. The Blade Itself (First Law Trilogy, #1) by Joe Abercrombie
13. Dearly, Departed (Gone with the Respiration, #1) by Lia Habel
14. Virtual Unrealities by Alfred Bester
15. The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff
16. Bad Girls Don’t Die (Bad Girls Don’t Die, #1) by Katie Alender
17. The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
18. The Kingdom of Gods (Inheritance Trilogy, #3) by N.K Jemisin
19. NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
20. The Thief of All Light by Bernard Schaffer
21. Love Wins by Rob Bell
22. Beginnings by Gordon R. Dickson
23. No-Drama Discipline by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.
24. The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, Day Two) by Patrick Rothfuss
25. Sex God by Rob Bell
26. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
27. Ballad (Books of Faerie, #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
28. Finding God in the Margins by Carolyn Custis James
29. The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #5) by Tana French
30. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
31. The Divine Magician by Peter Rollins
32. My Grandmother Told Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman
33. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
34. The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
35. What We Talk about when We Talk about God by Rob Bell
36. Little Heaven by Nick Cutter
37. The Vampire Diaries (#1): The Awakening by L. J. Smith
38. The Trespasser (Dublin Murder Squad, #6) by Tana French
39. Cloudbound (Bone Universe, #2) by Fran Wilde
40. My Search for Absolutes by Paul Tillich
41. Blindsight by Peter Watts
42. The Fifty Year Sword by Mark Z. Danielewski
43. Stolen Things by Stephen Parolini
44. Star Wars: Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn
45. Gryphon in Glory by Andre Norton
46. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
47. The Collector by K.R. Alexander
48. Hiroshima by Laurence Yep
49. Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer
50. Jackalope Wives by T. Kingfisher

Started but didn’t finish: Scripture and the Authority of God by N.T. Wright. I just wasn’t ever really in the right mental/emotional space for it. It’ll show up in a future books-I-read list, I’m sure.

2019 has started out with Daring Greatly by Brené Brown, which sets a lovely tone for how I want to live this year — and every year. 🙂

junowrimowrapup

I won. 50,539 words in 30 days. BANGERANG.

And now, Camp NaNoWrimo, during which I shall endeavor to write another 30,000 words on this story. Should be do-able.

In stat updates, I have finally succeeded in introducing all the suspects. For my next trick, I’ll re-emphasize the apparent guilt of the primary suspect. Watch and be amazed. 😁

junowrimo catchup post, days 7-11

Well, I haven’t kept up with blogging JuNoWriMo, but at least I’ve been doing the writing work. For the most part, anyway.

day 7 wordcount: 2202

day 8 wordcount: 2014

day 9 wordcount: 0
We spent the 9th at a family reunion (the husband’s side). By the time we got home and got the 5yo to bed, my introvert had been showing all day and I had no words left. Pretty sure I vegged the evening away with the husband while he continued his recently-begun, first-time binge-watch of The Walking Dead.

day 10 wordcount: 2319

day 11
titles: 1 (The Priestess Murders — a Light-Walkers murder mystery)
today’s wordcount: 2,543
total wordcount: 23,292
chapters: 4.3
cups of coffee consumed today: 4
Fireball shots consumed today: none, and more’s the pity
sleuths: 2
corpses: 1 mostly intact, 1 dismembered
suspects: 8

BOOM, BABY.

Today’s total wordcount puts me three days ahead of schedule, which is particularly nice since I’ve had two dud days so far. Also, tonight I decided for sure to combine two suspects into one. There wasn’t really a reason for them to be two people, and it’s getting way too complicated to have as many suspects as I do. Technically, there will be two more fewer suspects by the end, because the two corpses (whom I’ve been counting as both bodies and suspects) were actually murdered by a third party instead of having killed each other.

Clear as mud?

P.S. I’m adding the tag “electric boogaloo” to this post because I wanted a “boom, baby” reference in the tags but didn’t want to create another new tag, and “electric boogaloo” has “boo” in it, which is almost “boom.”

This is my blog. I don’t have to make sense.

P.P.S. I’m thinking of starting to vlog regularly. JuNoWriMo must be killing brain cells.

junowrimo day 6

Today was a better day than yesterday. In more ways than one.

titles: 1 (The Priestess Murders — a Light-Walkers murder mystery)
today’s wordcount: 1,930
total wordcount: 14,214
chapters: 2.1
cups of coffee consumed: 13
Fireball shots consumed: more than 1. definitely more than 1.
sleuths: 2
corpses: 1 mostly intact, 1 dismembered
suspects-to-be: 7

I could do more tonight, but I’m tired. So it’s bedtime. Good night, sleep tight, and keep your blood on the inside. 😘

junowrimo day 4

Today’s stats:

titles: 1 (The Priestess Murders — a Light-Walkers murder mystery)
today’s wordcount: 4,435
total wordcount: 12,015
chapters: 2
cups of coffee consumed: 11
beers consumed: 1
sleuths: 2
murder scenes: 1
corpses: 1 mostly intact, 1 dismembered
dismembered body parts: 4
sets of exposed entrails: 1
suspects-to-be: 4
deceptions: 8
red herrings: 2
Chekhov’s gun: roger that

Finally got Body #2 onscreen! Flung some flopping fish into the mix! Got Chekhov to give up his gun! So much fun! Tally-ho! *toots horn*