Coming Soon: Accompaniment (One Week Away!)

I’m counting down to the release of my next book, and Accompaniment (The Guardian of the Opera 2) will be out in one week!  The pandemic is still limiting the in-person celebrations I can do, but I’ll be posting fun quotes from the book throughout the next week, with special content on Launch Day, September 4th.

Since I can’t do an in-person launch party, I plan to create a video about the book, and do some Q&A.  So this is your chance to ask any questions about the Phantom, my sequel book, how it was written…whatever you’d like to know!  Add a question in a comment below, then come back next week for the video – and, of course, the new book.  And don’t forget, you can already pre-order Accompaniment on Kindle.

For today, here’s an excerpt from Accompaniment, Chapter Two.  Enjoy!

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I was desperately nervous by the time the performance curtain closed Saturday evening.  I wished I could change out of my ballet outfit before going to Box Five, only I didn’t dare take the time.  I’d have to go to the ballet’s shared changing room, which would be a madhouse right after a performance, and I’d probably get caught by someone in conversation, and then I’d have to come all the way back to the auditorium, and by then he might have vanished.  Plus I only had forty-five minutes before Mother would contact the army and the navy and who knew what else.

So I just threw my blue cloak on over my white ballet skirt and tried to look at it logically.  If he had been paying any attention at all, he’d already seen me in this outfit countless times.  We girls ran around the Opera in our dance costumes all the time.

I separated from the other girls as we streamed out of the auditorium, and made my way to the hall outside the first-level boxes.  It was busy with guests, departing or making their way to the Foyers.  I glanced at one woman’s long silk dress with a twinge of envy.  Even if I’d had time to change into my nicest dress, it wasn’t that nice.

Never mind—he knew I was a dancer, so why shouldn’t I be dressed like one?

No one seemed to be watching me, but I still had to force myself not to be furtive as I opened the door to Box Five.  Guests would find no significance in Box Five, and all the Company knew my mother was boxkeeper here; as long as I didn’t act suspicious, no one else would be.  Inside, the box was dimly lit by one low gaslight, curtains drawn, and I leaned against the closed wooden door as my eyes adjusted.

I could see a silhouette in one of the front row seats, and my heart pounded harder.

“You actually came,” he remarked, nothing in his tone to indicate how he felt about it.

Continue reading “Coming Soon: Accompaniment (One Week Away!)”

Writing Wednesday: Finalizing

I’m in a good place for finishing writing projects right now.  I made the final, final edits to Accompaniment yesterday – my proof copy arrived last week, I did some reading through it, and finished the last few edits I found as a result of that.  That completes the paperback, so now I need to do the Kindle formatting, and set-up the hardback.  It puts everything still on track for the September 4th publishing date!

My next project is final edits to Guardian III, which should be much smaller than the ones I did for Accompaniment, so should be finished very soon.  Nice to be ahead of things on that.

Meanwhile, the Guardian prequel is out with beta-readers.  A couple have already sent feedback, so I’ll probably start implementing revisions for that shortly too, to hopefully put that out some time in August…a possibly ambitious timeline, but we’ll see!

That’s my main writing focus right now – lots of soon-to-be-done revisions.  I also put up a new video about Accompaniment‘s proof copy, if you’d like to check it out!

Cover Reveal + Pre-Order for Accompaniment, Guardian of the Opera Book Two

It seems like Nocturne, the first book in my Guardian of the Opera trilogy, only just came out…probably because it was just six weeks ago.  But since I wrote the entire trilogy before starting to launch them, I’m very excited that Book Two, Accompaniment, will be out in less than two months!  So today I’m sharing my cover – and you can already pre-order your Kindle copy.

Before I get to the cover, here’s a bit about the book, which continues the story of the Phantom of the Opera.

After the crash of the chandelier and the disappearance of the powerful Comte de Chagny, Erik’s refuge behind the mask of the Phantom of the Opera has grown more dangerous. Commissaire Mifroid has vowed to hunt him down, in whatever depths of the Opera Garnier he hides. Grieving the departure of Christine Daaé, Erik finds it hard to care about the policeman’s threat, and a slowly growing friendship with Meg Giry seems like only a minor distraction.

When Christine left Paris, Meg thought the hole in her life could never be filled. It only makes it worse that she’s known far too much as “Christine’s friend.” But conversations with the Phantom and flirtations with a handsome gentleman in the Dance Foyer mean the chance to seek a new role—and to stop feeling like a secondary character in her own life.

The first book retold the events of the original Phantom story, so I’m looking forward to hearing what people think of how I take the story forward.  If you haven’t read Book One yet, it’s also available…and you won’t have to wait long for the continuation of the story!

That’s probably enough waiting for the cover too…

I really love that I was able to use the same model for Meg as I did for the first book’s cover – and it’s fun to have the iconic Grand Stairs of the Opera for the background too.  I design my own covers, and I actually took the photo of the Grand Stairs while visiting Paris.

I hope you’ll order your copy of Acccompaniment!

Launch Day: The Guardian of the Opera – Nocturne

It’s here!  I’ve been talking about this book forever, and it’s finally launch day – The Guardian of the Opera: Nocturne is now available for purchase, and I can’t wait for you to read it.

Select your format of choice:

Ebook ($6.99)

Paperback ($13.99)

Hardback ($35.99)*

 

And in case you’ve missed the previous posts, here’s a bit about the story:

Set against the backdrop of 1880s Paris and the stunning Opera Garnier, The Guardian of the Opera: Nocturne brings you the familiar tale of the Phantom of the Opera from a different direction. Meg Giry met the Phantom once when she was twelve years old, a new ballet dancer lost in the Opera’s maze. Years later, when an Angel of Music offers singing lessons to her best friend Christine Daaé, Meg is sure she knows what’s actually happening. But as strange events unfold and the pieces stop adding up, Meg has to wonder if she truly understands the Phantom—or Christine.

Erik is a man of many talents and many masks, and the one covering his face may be the least concealing. The opera house is his kingdom and his refuge, where he stalks through the shadows as the Phantom of the Opera, watching over all that occurs. He never intended to fall in love; when he does, it launches him into a new symphony he’s certain can only end in heartbreak.

And don’t forget you can join my virtual launch party on Facebook – I’ll be posting fun updates throughout the weekend, plus you can join my Zoom call presentation this evening at 5:30 pm Pacific time.  I hope to see you there!

 

* If you’re wondering why this link doesn’t take you to Amazon, the printers of the hardback had site issues recently and have not been able to sync with Amazon yet – the hardback will eventually be available on Amazon, but for now you can buy it direct from the printers.  And they’re currently offering a 15% off discount (code SAVE15) if you buy today!

Writing Wednesday: Round Robin, Round Three

My writing focus has been a bit scattered for the last couple of weeks, and this week it took a new turn.  It was my turn again to write a chapter of my next collaborative novel, Pesto, Pirouettes and Potions.  I’m trading chapters with three other writers, and this was my third chapter but Chapter Ten of the novel.  Considering we outlined a total eighteen chapters, we are well on our way through the story!

In this chapter, our heroines got closer but then had a huge fight.  Fun stuff to write!  I actually struggled a bit this time around, trying to figure out how to interpret our notes and whether they were lining up with some earlier sections.  A couple notes for different chapters actually were in conflict – for instance, Lola’s roommate Mario was supposed to flirt with Charlie in Chapter Six, but then it’s revealed in Chapter Twelve that he’s a member of Charlie’s coven, so what’s he doing flirting with her like he doesn’t know she’s a lesbian?

I ended up contacting my fellow writers and we held a video chat brainstorming meeting Monday night to figure some things out before we went further.  Very helpful, although we mostly observed that it’s all holding together surprisingly well so far!  We also decided Mario isn’t in the coven and kept the flirting 😉

I finished writing up my chapter today, along with adding a bit to the previous chapter about Charlie’s ballet production.  I researched modern ballet for Chapter Two, so even though I didn’t write Chapter Nine, I had the most expertise to add a bit about the production.  Charlie is dancing to the Rolling Stones, and it’s not at all what Lola expected!

For now, here’s a brief excerpt, from right after Charlie and Lola’s first kiss.

*******

“So.”  Say something, crack a joke.  “Is Mario going to ask me my intentions?”

Lola bristled, and it was so her that Charlie loved it.  “Mario doesn’t have any say in who I date.”

“I was just kidding,” Charlie said, even though she figured Lola probably knew that.

“Yeah.  Of course.”  Then Lola’s gaze, defiant for a moment, dropped awkwardly as she kicked one heel back against the door.  “Anyway,” she mumbled, “Mario likes you.  I mean, likes you for me.  I mean…”

“Do you want to, I don’t know, grab some drinks?” Charlie suggested.  Ugh, so cliché—but she didn’t know what else to suggest, she just knew she didn’t want this, whatever this was, to end.