Pro magic tip: demons always show up when you least expect them. As I shoveled a barrier of snow in front of my shop, three of them appeared on the roof, roaring against the wintry moon.
I took a few steps back, the cold snow seeping into my boots.
The demons focused on me, their spinning, blue nebula-like eyes glowing, their smooth black horns dull in the moonlight. Four-legged, with the build of a pit bull and the teeth of a shark, they stalked down the side of the building—an old brownstone in the heart of the city—growling at me. Their claws scratched against the brick and left long white marks.
“So it's gonna be like this, huh,” I said.
I let down my hood, and the wind blew my hair about. The chill tore through my face, and I could hardly feel my cheeks. My eyes watered in the bone-chilling cold.
Fourth demon encounter this month. The magic suppressant charms weren’t working.
“Darius,” I said, throwing a snowball against the window. “Get out here and see what you did.”
Darius’s lanky frame was a shadow in the front of the shop, and he was sweeping the floor. I threw another snowball.
He stuck his half-braided, half-afroed head out of the door, shivering in the cold.
“It’s too cold out here to be playing, cuz,” he said.
And then he heard the growling and looked up slowly.
“Damn,” he said, shaking his head. “Why does this always happen around two o’clock in the morning?”
“You only have one job,” I said, gripping my shovel tightly. “Protection spells are not supposed to be that hard.”
“Ain’t my fault,” Darius said, shuddering. “You know I can cast that spell with the best of them.”
He grabbed a puffy coat with a fur collar, threw it on, and joined me in the snow. His hands glowed with warm fire, and the flames bloomed all the way up his arms, suffusing his face in an orange glow. He yawned.
Darius was my cousin. A wizard.
Not the kind you’re probably imagining in your head right now—you know, the wizard with a pointy hat, a star-swept robe, and a gray beard, but a black, eighteen year-old wizard who loved South Pole jackets and who routinely forgot to do his chores—namely, casting a protection spell around my shop. A wizard whose magic and lack thereof always got his big cousin into trouble. But he could throw fire and cast spells like a boss whenever the Somnients showed up, so I usually forgave him.
“At least these bad boys didn’t show up when the sky was really dumping snow on us,” Darius said.
The beasts landed in the snow and inched toward us, breathing smoke and sulphur. Click here to grab your copy of Dream Born.
I'm doing a quick impromptu blog post to let everyone know that Magic Trackers is now live and published on Amazon! The entire series, Books 1-3, is available in ebook and print.
Here's the book description for Book 1, Dream Born:
Think dreams aren't real? Think again.
I'm a dream mage. I can control your dreams and destroy your mind from the inside out—all while you sleep.
I use my powers to protect innocent people from nightmare demons. I've seen stuff that would make your head explode. Literally. And I've made a lot of enemies.
When blood-thirsty demons show up on my doorstep one snowy night, so does someone dangerous from my past.
Someone that I've been running away from for a long time. But I'm done running.
It's time to face my past…and end the nightmare that has been haunting me all these years.
Dream Born is a fast-paced urban fantasy with a kickass African-American heroine. Experience lovable heroes, an unorthodox magic system, and crazy mindscapes that you'll dream about long after you're finished reading.
Thanks everyone for all your support of this series. I hope you enjoy it!
I had a great first month of the year, and I have some pretty exciting news for you guys.
Magic Trackers will launching in full in the next 1-2 weeks. That's right, all three books will be available before February 10, probably sooner. All the books are done. The final book will be back from my editor in a few days from the date of this posting.
I finished the series this month, so it felt good to finally finish and start prepping for my next series.
In the meantime, check out the covers for Magic Trackers:
Click here to read more about the series.
Click here to get notifications when it launches.
NEW BOX SET!
My series with Justin Sloan (Modern Necromancy) has just received a box set with Books 1-3 priced at $2.99. It's a steal. Get your copy by clicking on the image. One of my best selling series!
Or click here to grab your copy.
What will my new series be, you ask?
It's going to be a post-apocalyptic story I've been wanting to write for the last year or so. It's about a multigenerational family on vacation when the apocalypse hits, and they have to travel across a deadly wasteland in order to get home–if it still exists. Think Grapes of Wrath in reverse meets the apocalypse.
I don't know what it will be called quite yet. It will probably between 5-7 books. I'll share more in the coming months.
As always, I invite you to sign up for my mailing list if you want advance notice of all my new releases.
Major change at the podcast.
My co-host Jay Artale has left the show. I will be heading up the Ask Alli Member Q&A Podcast with Debbie Young. Instead of giving self-publishing beginner tips, I'll now be answering common questions that authors have. So be sure to check it out. First episode goes live next month.
But in the meantime, check out Jay and I's last episode together: https://selfpublishingadvice.org/ask-alli-podcast/
See you next month.
In this first post of the year, I'm going to break with tradition of posting a snippet from an upcoming work.
My series, Magic Trackers, is still too new for me to release anything for you to read just yet.
Instead, I thought I would post some inspirations for the work and what is driving me.
What Inspired the Series
- An unfinished short story I wrote back in 2016 where a woman had the ability to enter an influence another person's dreams. It was called “Dream Patrol.” I loved the idea so much I wanted to make it into a series.
- I have wanted to write a gritty urban fantasy for a while now.
Urban Fantasy Series That I Love
I have pretty eclectic tastes, and I receive inspiration from a lot of different sources. In any of my novels you will see a lot of different influences.
As far as urban fantasy goes, these were the inspirations top of mind as I wrote the series:
- The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman
- The Twenty-Sided Sorceress series by Annie Bellet
- Persona video game series
- Devil May Cry video game series
- Witch Hunter Robin anime series
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Aisha Robinson is a dream mage. She can enter your deepest darkest nightmares and use them to destroy your mind.
But she's a good mage.
She protects the city from demons born in dreams who try to enter reality to wreak havoc. She can also enter people's dreams and decode them—basically a dream interpreter on steroids.
She's built a business on dream interpretations, using her powers to manipulate dreams and dismantle nightmares.
She lives with her two cousins, Destiny and Darius—a shifter, and a wizard, respectively. Together, they go on adventures—or rather, adventures come to them…
Each book will be a standalone that is connected with all the others, kind of like the Dresden Files.
If this series is successful, I've written it so that I could go on for a very long time, maybe forever. So if you like it, be sure to buy your copy!
Click here to read the book description for Book 1 – Dream Born.
Check out my Pinterest Board for the series.
Be prepared to be creeped out a little—but in a good way!
This series is going to be dark, but not as dark as say, The Last Dragon Lord.
Some things I explore:
- Loneliness and isolation
- The bright and dark side of dreams
- Urban fantasy from a black woman's perspective
I wrote the urban fantasy that I would want to read.
Personally, I don't see enough diverse characters in this space. I wrote a heroine that I would have looked up to and idolized as young reader. Aisha's pretty kickass, so I know you guys are going to like her.
Aisha's not a shifter or a spell caster, and she doesn't have true magical powers.
Inside a dream, her powers are infinite–she's practically a goddess. Outside of a dream, she has no powers at all.
That choice led to some interesting storylines because Aisha isn't like other (popular) heroines in this genre. She has to be smarter about how she uses her magic, and the clients that come to her are not who you would expect.
When to Expect It
I'm ahead of schedule right now, so I'm looking at a March release date right now.
In the meantime, join my list to get notifications when it launches. I'll have a snippet to post here next month.
Happy December, gang!
I'm posting a bit early than usual, but that's because I'm doing something special that I'll talk about in a few moments.
Lot of fun stuff to share with you in this last month of the year.
I have finished Book 1 in my urban fantasy series Magic Trackers, and I am very excited to have some momentum. I am already well into Book 2, so I'm waiting to see how this series evolves. It may be 3 books, or it may be 12. I'll know in about a month or so.
New Short Story Available
My Galaxy Mavericks story “Maybe Now the Stars Will Shine” has been published in The Expanding Universe Anthology Volume 3, edited by Craig Martelle. The story follows agent Devika Sharma (from Zero Magnitude) in a mission that starts just before the Galaxy Mavericks series begins.
I'm in the company of some of the best and brightest new authors–New York Times and USA Bestsellers—31 fantastic stories in all. So be sure to pick up your copy today:
Book Wizard – New Way to Find My Books
I have written a LOT of books, and I realized that if I were a new reader to this website, I wouldn't have a clue where to start.
That's why I created a new tool called Book Wizard. By answering a couple of quick questions, it will serve up a series tailored to your reading tastes in just 5 seconds or less.
Let wizard find you a new book right now!
Modern Necromancy is now available everywhere
My series with Justin Sloan is now available on all retailers. This is by far my bestselling series, with over 120 reviews on Book 1 on Amazon alone.
You can grab Book 1 for free (limited time) here.
What I've Accomplished in 2017
I've done a lot this year, and I thought it would be a good idea to highlight some of those things here.
- Published the Galaxy Mavericks series – 9 books
- Had a Galaxy Mavericks short story included in The Expanding Universe Anthology (be sure to buy here)
- Started writing my Magic Trackers urban fantasy series (1 book done)
- Revamped my website
- Revamped my personal brand with more cohesive covers
- Created a Patreon page
- Outsourced a lot of behind-the-scenes work so that I could spend more time writing books, which is one of the reasons why I published so much this year
- Finished my first semester of law school
- Accepted a new job at my current employer with more responsibility
In many ways, there is no logical reason I should have been able to get as much done as I did this year. But I have been blessed this year in a number of ways.
Treat Yourself to a Some Books on Sale – Happy Holidays
I appreciate all of you who have read this blog throughout the year. To celebrate the end of the year and the launch of my Book Wizard Tool, I'm giving 25% off any book orders that you buy from me directly. Right now that includes these series:
Go to the page of your preferred book, click the “Buy from Author Directly”, and use the coupon code THANKSWIZARD during checkout. I use BookFunnel to deliver these books automatically to your reading device of choice—it's super easy.
Offer ends midnight Dec 31, 2017. Don't miss out–moving forward I'm not going to do sales often, and it'll be probably another year until I do this again.
Thank you for being great readers, and happy holidays!
Next month I'll share my plans for 2018 as well as an update on Magic Trackers. As always, don't forget to join my mailing list to get first updates when the book launches.