Wednesday, 29 November 2017


Hello, folks. *blows dust off blog* It's been a bit quiet round here since the release of IMPERIAL DEMONS, I know. I've been a bit quiet. Normally I would have sent out promo packs to fellow authors who generously offer blog space, and I generally try to be "present" online without constantly screaming HEY I HAVE A NEW BOOK OUT PLEASE LIKE IT!!!

But I'm not feeling very normal at the moment. I'm going through what I think of as a quiet patch of depression. That is to say, I'm standing at the edge of a stormy sea, aware I could be sucked in by the tide, rather than being out in that storm, helpless while the water closes over my head. I've suffered from depression on and off for...most of my life, I guess? I was undiagnosed as a teenager, but once I got diagnosed at university, I could look back and say "oh, that's what that was." Sometimes I need counselling and medication, and sometimes I get by without either of those things and just ride the storm out.

This time, it crept up on me slowly. I knew I was getting more anxious and irrational in my thoughts throughout September and October, but I blamed that on the approaching anniversary of my dad's death. But the feeling didn't pass once October did, and suddenly I found myself in the toilets at work, the day after IMPERIAL DEMONS came out, sobbing over nothing, and thought, "yeah, you probably need to talk to someone."

So I talked to my doctor and I'm taking medication, and I'm now at that nice point where I recognise that my thoughts aren't facts, and I can observe them rather than let them consume me. The storm is still out there, but I'm safe on the beach.

The downside is I really, really cannot write. Forget the romantic notion that suffering is good for art. For me, that's never been true. My writing started to lag in September, was almost nonexistent in October, and despite my resolution to write every day in November to finish an Amber Morgan book, I've done...virtually nothing again. It frustrates and panics me, and it takes away one of my coping mechanisms for when I feel low. So that's kind of a vicious circle. I want to write because I feel sad, but I feel too sad to write. My brain is...blank. Simple tasks feel beyond my strength, and writing isn't a simple task no matter how much I enjoy it. It takes time and care and love, and I don't have the energy or motivation for those things right now.

So in short, I'm not doing very much at the moment and I'm saving my energy for stuff I can't avoid, like going to work and remembering to put my clothes on the right way round (I did forget one day, but luckily I realised my top was on back to front before anyone else got to the office).

Nevertheless, there is stuff happening that I want to talk about. People who follow me on Facebook and Twitter may already know, but for those who don't, Ragnarok Publications recently announced they will be closing their doors temporarily. I don't know what will happen long-term (though I wish the team all the best), but short-term, UNDERTOW is one of the books that will be pulled from sale in December. All the rights will revert to me then.

I won't lie. I'm gutted. I'd just started to think there was still a chance to keep the Shoregrave/Ethan Banning dream alive. I'd had some positive talks with the new Ragnarok team when they took over, and felt like Ethan, at least, had a shot. I don't know. In a way, the depression is helping me decide, because when I weigh up whether I have the energy right now to either self-publish AFTERLIFE, DEMONIZED, and UNDERTOW, or try to find new homes for them, the answer is hell no. I've been trying to keep the series afloat for a long time now, and honestly, whilst I love Ethan Banning to death, I'm basically flogging a dead horse at this point. Part of my heart will always tell me I need to go back and write more stories in this world, with these characters, but after years of telling myself "maybe," I think it's time to tell myself "no."

So that's that. As from December 1st, UNDERTOW will no longer be available. I will leave the Ethan Banning Files short stories available on Amazon and Smashwords, but AFTERLIFE and DEMONIZED will not be republished and I don't intend to write anymore books in this series.


Okay. That's it, really. I'm hoping to ease back into writing a bit at a time, and in my ideal world, I'll finish that Amber Morgan book before we take off to Japan at the end of December. Realistically, that probably isn't going to happen, but let's call it a soft goal. In the meantime, I'm off to check my jumper is on the right way round.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Imperial Demons is in the wild!

Today's the day, folks! IMPERIAL DEMONS is unleashed! And I am SUPER EXCITED. I feel like DARK DAYS may as well have been released a lifetime ago, and I've been raring to get Lola and Tristesse's next adventure out in the world. And now, here we are!

There is nothing I don't love about this book. World-building Gehenna was so much fun. Writing a truly inhuman villain was a great challenge. Forcing Lola and Tristesse to grow in ways I absolutely hadn't planned way back in BLOOD WITCH was fantastic! I know I've said it before, but I never intended BLOOD WITCH to be anything more than a one-off novella. To now be at book four in the series, with books five, six, and maybe seven in the pipeline makes me incredibly proud and excited.

Parts of IMPERIAL DEMONS were wrenching to write, but I think I've given you an awesome story, and I have plenty of fun, madness, and magic coming up for Lola and Tris still. We just have to go through some hard times to get there...

Magic can make you mad. Love can make you dangerous.

Tristesse is gone, taken between worlds to be the bride of a sadistic demon prince. And Lola will do anything to get her back. Crossing into Gehenna is only the start. Hunted by monsters and accompanied by allies she can’t trust, Lola must endure the horrors of the demon world, and embrace the darkness of demon magic. If it doesn’t consume her, it might just save both her and Tristesse.

But in Gehenna nothing is guaranteed. Nothing except pain.

Pick up your copy (for a discount!) right now at Evernight. Or grab it from Amazon US, Amazon UK, and probably wherever else you get your ebooks!

And you can read on right now for a glimpse at the first chapter!


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Author Interview - Aletta Thorne and her ghostly romance

I know, I know, I should have got this up yesterday. It would have made a perfect Halloween post! In my defense, I've had a headache since Sunday and I'm having a bout of seasonal affective disorder that's been kicking my ass, so I've basically been shirking...everything except the basics, I guess. You know, the day job, tea, cheesecake.

Anyway! It's the first of November and Aletta Thorne is here to talk about her new release, The Chef and the Ghost of Bartholomew Addison Jenkins, which is just a fantastic title. So, no more excuses from me - let's find out what it's all about!

Hi, Aletta! Tell us a little bit about your newest release.

My new book, The Chef and the Ghost of Bartholomew Addison Jenkins answers a question you probably haven’t asked, although I can’t imagine why not!  What happens if you have a one-nighter with a ghost?  The story is set in a little Hudson River town in upstate New York, in the autumn of 1982. The main character is a woman chef trying to recover from a nasty divorce.  The restaurant world was a pretty crazy place in the early 80’s.  So: Revolutionary war era ghosts--and cooks.  And believe it or not, a happy ending, but it’s a pretty wild ride.

So we've got the 80s, food, and a ghost. This sounds perfect! Was there any part of this story you found particularly tough to write? If so, why?

I’ve written YA books.  This is my first adult romance.  At first it felt weird NOT to cut away during the love scenes.  But after I got used to it, I was able to cope quite nicely by fanning myself a little and having a Diet Coke, thank you very much.  My life has been…enriched!  Funny how something that seems challenging at first can end up being liberating.  And wonderful.

So leading on from that, is there any part of this story you absolutely love, and why?

I love my characters.  The lead ghost is pretty complex: confident, needy, and quite sexy.  His side-kick Geoff is very funny, too.  He’s a trickster.  I love the setting.  I was a chef for a while in the 80’s and those were wild days.  It was fun being about to write about that pirate ship world. Anthony Bourdain doesn’t lie about how nuts it was.  Professional cooks are interesting people: smart, tough, and practical. Risk-takers.  A tribe, for certain.

I'm always fascinated by behind-the-scenes accounts from the restaurant world! Do you have a favourite genre to write in?

I’m a paranormal author if I’m writing fiction, whether it’s for grownups or for teens. I just like magic--stuff that can’t possibly happen, but does.  And I almost always write in the past.  I guess it’s the “once upon a time” beginning that hooks me in creatively.  My YA books are time travelers.  

I feel the same way about magic :) If you could have dinner with any three writers, living or dead, who would they be?  

Hmm...Madeleine L’Engle (who wrote A Wrinkle in Time)  is a huge hero of mine, and informs my writing for young people.  I guess I’d also invite the contemporary British author of historical fiction Sarah Waters, who blows me away every time I open one of her books.  And the American poet Anne Sexton, who kept me sane during college years, and I think would have been wonderful to have a few glasses of wine with.  I’m sorry I never got to at least thank her.  That would be a good party!

Good choices! Anne Sexton would be a great person to sit down for a drink with. Are there any books you can just read over and over again and never get sick of?

I used to teach high school English,  so I’ve probably read The Scarlet Letter twenty times. Although Hawthorne was a gloomy gus and I don’t think I’d want to dine with him, that is pretty much a perfect novel.  (He was, however, really cute.  Google him and see!)

I felt obliged to add a picture of Nathaniel Hawthorne for you all.

If you could recommend any book (beside your own) to everyone reading this, what would it be?

Lincoln in the Bardo totally deserves the Man Booker Prize, and I’m not just saying that ‘cause I’m from the States.  Mind blown!

Now the hardball question. Tea or coffee?

Coffee, preferably latte.  Two cups in the morning, while I write.

I'm starting to feel like the only tea-drinker in the world! Apart from writing, what are your great passions in life?

I love music.  I sing choral music regularly, and play guitar and dulcimer.  I used to ring tower chimes in a church in New York City.  I DJ rock and roll at a little internet radio station, and I listen to absolutely everything.  I’m currently obsessed with a group called Offa Rex.

Awesome! My fiance used to DJ regularly, and still breaks out the decks every now and then. What else are you working on right now? What's up next from you?

I’m going to bang through something during National Novel Writing Month in November.  I’m actually toying with going way outside my comfort zone and writing a romance about a woman trying to live in one of the tiny houses that seem to be on TV so much lately.  

My all-purpose writer’s website is still under my real name, Christine Potter, (although posts about the romance are starting to appear there, too).  Because I will continue to write YA, I’ll probably split off a site for Aletta, but for now:

Aletta Thorne on Facebook:

Instagram (all my writing here, too):

Thanks, Aletta! So, now you know a bit more about the author and her book, how about a teaser from it? But first - don't forget to pick up your copy!


“You’ll turn over the record. Oh, because you…”

“I do like to keep up. Who poured you wine from the … refrigerator? Although, I don’t understand why people of your age prefer it so icy.”

Alma followed Bart into the living room, still wondering why things didn’t seem odder than they were. She remembered the Casper the Friendly Ghost cartoons she’d seen as a little girl. This ghost was acting—well, perhaps a bit more flirty than friendly. He only glowed a bit as they walked through the dim hallway that connected her rooms. You can hardly even tell he’s translucent. What had he seen of her, though? She was glad her frustrating night with Sid had been at his place.

As Bart bent over the turntable and flipped the record, the reading lamp by her couch highlighted the silver buttons of his coat. She curled up on the couch and put her wine glass on the glass-covered orange crate she’d turned into a coffee table. 

Bart sat beside her, suspiciously close. He put an arm over the back of the couch, and Alma shook her head again. That’s the old sneaky-arm trick—like a high school kid. It’s kind of cute. She pulled her legs up under herself, and they quietly listened to the music.

“You’re right,” she said after a few minutes. “‘Fountains’ is really good, too. I almost never listen to that side.”

Bart made a quiet harrumphing noise. 

Do ghosts clear their throats? Apparently so.

“Dear lady,” he said. “Although I do try not to snoop, as you would say, I have indeed observed your solitude. Let me assure you, your life will soon be happier.” He slid even closer to her.

Okay. Now the ghost is absolutely coming on to me. This is really happening. Oh, hell—why not? He’s not bad—for a dead guy.

“Um, Bart?” she said. His eyes really were a startling color—almost bronze… “You can’t actually be…”

Bart set his fingertips on her cheeks, looked into her eyes, and sighed. Then he smiled. “You think this is a ridiculous situation. It’s not ridiculous,” he said. “Not at all. Allow me to demonstrate … with your permission, m’lady.”

Somehow, that was funny, and Alma giggled. “Granted.”

Bart’s hands were impossibly soft and gentle—and his touch had some of the same fire-and-ice buzz that she’d felt before in the kitchen when he’d tried to get her attention. He guided her lips to his, and gave her what would have been a tiny peck—from anyone else. It shot a bolt of fire straight through her. 

“Oh,” she said. It took a minute to get her breath.