My debut novel, Mud, turned a year old last week. I've been celebrating with my email subscribers all week long iwth a $.99-sale on the novel, and a series of secrets about the novel's sequel, Tides, which releases in August.
It's been a blast! And as it turns out, I'm a terrible secret-keeper, because as fun as it's been to explore these secrets one-by-one, I couldn't resist extending the sale one last day (buy Mud before midnight, ya'll!) and sharing a recap of the secrets:
7 Little Secrets about Tides:
1. Adem looks really different from another character's eyes.
2. Rona takes no shit on a good day ... and she has no good days in Tides.
3. Jordan may be grown up now (barely), but that doesn't mean he's ready for what's about to strike.
4. That thing in Adem’s box? Our crew of heroes isn’t finished with it yet.
5. Remember that border between the realms Adem shattered? All sorts of creepy crawlies are creeping into Terath through it.
6. The gods aren't as engaged as you think.
7. The Tides ... are about to change.
More awesome tidbits about Tides, including a cover reveal and more insights into my thought process as I wrote it, will come as that release date creeps closer.
But for now, get ready by reading the first book in the series. Again, ya'll it's just $.99 if you buy before midnight!
Buy it here:
It's been an entire year since Mud hit the bookshelves.
Can you believe it? I can't--it seems like just yesterday I was walking into tables and losing my mind, trying to prepare for its release. But looking back, the journey has been amazing.
I've met incredible pros at my publisher, I've read your lovely reviews, and I even won an award. Best of all, I got to meet some of you at conferences and book festivals.
This would not be a true celebration unless you were a part of it.
So guess what? You're all getting gifts.
If you don't already have Mud, I want you to make it easy for you! So, Mud is just $.99 on ebook for an entire week, starting today.
Buy it at these fine establishments:
And as an extra bonus, my email subscribers are getting another aweome gift, too. Every day for the entire week, I'm sharing a secret with you about Mud's sequel, Tides, which is scheduled to release in August.
They're pretty juicy, guys, if I do say so myself. Want in? Join my email list here. (You'll also get a free copy of the series' prequel novella!)
And, hey, thank you for making this first year as a published author amazing. An author is nothing without readers.
Tomorrow, I am super excited to be a guest on Epic City Radio with the wonderful author Carolivia Herron. We'll be talking about Mud: Chronicles of the Third Realm War, writing process, and our love of epic fantasy from 4-5 p.m. ET on Takoma Radio, WOWD 94.3 FM.
But you don't have to be in the D.C. area to listen in! If you can't tune in to the local station, you can still stream my interview here.
Golems are not particularly well known fantasy creatures.
When people ask what my novel is about, I say "It's about a golem," and then I pause. When someone nods and says "Oh cool, go on," I know I've got a real die-hard fantasy fan on my hands. More often, people don't know what they are.
I didn't either, before I started writing Mud. I only found out about golems because I was actively looking for lesser-known creatures--something to get me away from the vampires and zombies and werewolves that have dominated the pop culture monster market for the last several years (not that there's anything wrong with those, I love that stuff and consume it constantly).
But the golem captured my imagination as soon as I found it. My take on golems in Mud is about as closely related to the classic golem folklore as Stephanie Meyers' Twilight series is to classic vampire lore, but it's some seriously cool, sometimes dark stuff that is worth knowing all the same.
Here's 14 things to know about golems:
- Golems originate from Jewish folklore.
Traditionally, they're creatures made of inanimate materials like clay, made animate with magic.
- Golems are made to serve their creators.
Most accounts indicate that animated golems follow the commands of their creators.
- Well that's handy.
Yup. Especially since golems are extremely strong. Maybe I should make one to carry my groceries from the car to my apartment.
- The term "golem" is only used once in the Bible.
In Psalms 139: 16. "Thine eyes did see my golem, yet being unformed; and in Thy Sefer (Book) all the yamim (days) ordained for me were written down, when as yet there were none of them." FYI, it's being used here to mean "unformed," so in this case, a fetus. Most modern interpretations don't use this word anymore (see several different interpretation here).
- But the Talmud's a whole different story.
This is a book of Jewish laws and legends. It refers to Adam as "golem" for his first 12 hours of existence, meaning "unformed/imperfect" or in this case, a body without a soul.
- That's only the beginning.
Another legend implies that the prophet Jeremiah made a golem.
- You, too, can make your very own golem!
Just follow the steps laid out in the Sefer Yezirah, the Book of Creation. Unfortunately, some of the details on these steps are a little murky--different rabbis have interpreted the instructions differently.
- Give us the SparkNotes version.
First, create the shape of a person out of clay or mud. Then, you either dance around it chanting specified letters of the Hebrew alphabet, or write "emet" (meaning "truth") on the golem's forehead, or write God's name on parchment and stick it in the golem's mouth. Invoke God's secret name, and voila, you got yourself a mud-slave. Pro tip: When using the parchment-feeding method, don't give your golem teeth.
- Mud slave? Sounds messy.
Right? Still waiting on the followup magic to keep dirt from trailing through the house.
- What's God's secret name?
Sorry, can't tell, it's a secret.
- As a note, golems have a tendency to run amok after a while.
The one Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel made in Prague around 1580, for example, was supposed to protect against a Blood Libel, guard the Jewish town from a group of bad-egg, Jew-hating Christians, and/or help with physical labor (conflicting sources on this). But after a while it started threatening innocent lives.
- Why didn't you tell me that before I made this thing?
More practical, less fun. But I can tell you how to get rid of it, at least.
- Please do.
The way to "kill" your golem depends on how you made it. If you opted for the dance, now dance around it in the opposite direction, while saying the letters in the opposite order. If you opted to write "emet' on it, erase the "e" to change the command to "met," or "death." If you went for the parchment, just stick your hand in that golem's mouth and remove the parchment. I told you, you didn't want teeth on that thing.
- Modern stories have taken more techie takes on the golem.
As in robots. Another creature made of inanimate pieces and brought to life by men to do their bidding. No serious running amok so far, but we've all gotten in a fight with a copy machine before, so you tell me. See also: Frankenstein.
P.S., Mud is still only $.99, but only for a few more days! Grab your copy now before the price goes up.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks
Just a quick announcement that my dystopian fantasy novel Mud is now available in paperback! WOO!
You can purchase it for $14.99 on Amazon--more vendors to come by March 15.
You can also pre-order the ebook for $3.99 for Nook or Kobo if that's more your style, and those will be available on March 15. There is also a hard cover version that will be available soon. So pick your poison, my friends. No judgment here, something for everybody.
Regardless of which format you buy, please do leave a review when you've read it! Reviews on sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads are a major driver for helping Mud stay visible to readers who are searching for new reads. Thank you in advance!