News, Ooze, and, um, Stews?

First of all, a few news items!

The new Markhat novel, THE BROKEN BELL, will be out on December 27 of this year.  I believe I predicted a September release date earlier, but take the September-December discrepancy as just another example of my stunted precognitive psychic abilities.  December 27 is the official word from the publisher. September was just me mumbling after consuming a jarful of cloudy Old Overcoat.

ALL THE PATHS OF SHADOW, my non-Markhat fantasy novel, is still due out in September.  I'll post further details as they become available.

I have two big writing projects lined up for the rest of the year.  In no particular order, they are BROWN RIVER QUEEN and ALL THE TURNS OF LIGHT.  BROWN RIVER QUEEN is a new Markhat novel, and ALL THE TURNS OF LIGHT is the sequel to ALL THE PATHS OF SHADOW.

I'll probably start BROWN RIVER QUEEN, work until the halfway point, and then pick up TURNS OF LIGHT before switching back when it's halfway done.  My thinking is that the midway swap will give me a break from both books without wasting any writing time, and while that idea looks good on paper I'll abandon it if steam starts coming out of my ears when I try it.

Markhat's world and the world of PATHS OF SHADOW/TURNS OF LIGHT are two very different places.  If you've read any Markhat, you know Rannit is a gritty, unforgiving, rough-and-tumble town where the unwary and the unwise are unlikely to last the night.  My other world is a gentler, kinder place, although it has a few dark alleys all its own.  

I'm curious how Markhat fans are going to react to the SHADOW books, and vice versa.  To be quite honest, I once considered releasing PATHS OF SHADOW under a pen name.  Not because it isn't good -- it is -- but because it's not the kind of setting or story people usually associate with my name.  PATHS OF SHADOW is a YA (young adult) book, which means you won't find Trolls smearing vampires all over the walls, or characters wisecracking while juggling recently severed heads.

Which isn't to say there's not drama or peril.  there is, but it's a different flavor.

But you can judge for yourself, in September.

BROWN RIVER QUEEN is set on a riverboat.  Yes, Markhat takes to the sea, or more precisely the sluggish Brown River, aboard a lavish gambling boat.  I'm throwing a little New Orleans seasoning into this one, and a dash of Mark Twain.  It's going to be huge fun -- wait for the scene in which Mama Hog plays a crooked game of roulette.

That's my world right now.  I spared you the awful details of being sick for two weeks and my mechanical ordeals involved in repairing the lawn mower and the chainsaw.  I still have a massive tangle of fallen trees in the backyard to deal with.  Saturday I managed to get the chainsaw running, and I worked manfully for maybe half an hour before a coughing fit sent me scurrying back into the shade.  I'll try again this Saturday, since I'm feeling much stronger now -- might even manage an hour of tree-clearing before I swoon from fatigue.

I will close with the obligatory link to a random book of mine.  Here it is, in Kindle format...others are available...