Capture the Sun Chapter Two!

Nilo groaned and heaved himself onto his elbow so he could peer down at me.
"You're dangerous."

"I warned you," I said with a laugh. "It's not my fault that you didn't listen."

Preorder Now!
Out June 20, 2023

We’re less than three months away from the release of Capture the Sun, which means it’s time to celebrate! If you head over to the book page, you’ll find a shiny new chapter waiting for you!

Every time I revisit parts of the book, I’m reminded of just how much I love Lexi and Nilo together. She’s prickly, he’s charming, and I adore them both as they stab their way to happiness. This book also wraps up the trilogy arc, so if you’ve been patiently waiting for some much deserved comeuppance for certain characters, your time is nigh (no spoilers!). :)

If you haven’t preordered yet, now is a great time. It’s like a gift to future you! And if you order from BookPeople, you’ll get a signed/personalized book, plus a bookmark and stickers, while supplies last!

Preorder now!
Signed/personalized books from BookPeople
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google Play | Kobo | IndieBound

If preorders aren’t your jam, please consider requesting it from your local library. Many libraries allow patrons to make purchase requests, and often they’ll put you first in line for if/when they buy the book, so wins all around! Plus using your local library shows there is demand, which can help them keep funding, and we certainly need all the libraries we can get right now.

Libraries are the best! I’m reading Bitter Medicine by Mia Tsai from my local library right now, and it’s absolutely lovely. I stayed up reading way, way too late last night, and I left the characters in a precarious situation, so I’m desperate to get back to it tonight.

On that note, I’m off to make some words, since despite my best efforts, this book refuses to write itself. It would be so much easier if it would just jump from my brain, fully formed, like a literary Athena. Wouldn’t that be great? Ooh, maybe I could write that story.

Authorial truth: Nothing ever looks shinier than a new project while deep in the middle of a current project. :)

Diablo IV Weekend!

Mr. M was off on Friday, and we made the most of it by spending basically the entire weekend playing the early beta of Diablo IV. We’re both huge Diablo fans, and even though a lot of fans hate on Diablo III, we’ve played literally hundreds of hours of it because while the story might not be the best, it’s soothing to click on monsters and have loot pop out.

So to say we’re excited for Diablo IV is a massive understatement.

And I’m happy to report, that despite the troubling rumors from development, it’s a lot of fun! There are bugs and issues, as with any beta, and I’m doubtful they’re going to get them all ironed out in the next two and half months, but it’s totally playable.

Especially after they fixed the queuing issues from Friday that saw us sitting in 70- and 90-minute queues to login. That was less fun, but by Saturday, the queues were generally less than a minute, so they either fixed the issue or threw a whole lot more servers at it, and either way, good job Blizzard.

They’ve definitely leaned in to the horror side more with IV than III. Or maybe I’m just used to playing III in adventure mode without the cutscenes, but the early cutscenes in IV were very pretty and very horrific (in a good, scary-movie kind of way). If you have a weak stomach for blood and gore, you may want to tread carefully.

We hit the beta level cap of 25 and made it all the way through Act I with one character and hit the level cap with another. I played Barbarian and Rogue, and Mr. M played Sorcerer and Rogue. Character design is still kind of limited, but it actually exists now, and look how cool I looked with just the basics!

Screenshots from Diablo IV showing a barbarian in purple leather armor with a two-handed hammer and a rogue in red hooded armor with a fancy bow.

I think cosmetics are going to be one of the real money items, and they’re probably going to get some of mine, because I do love to make my characters look nice.

I generally prefer melee characters, which is why I started with the barbarian, but the rogue was waaaaaay easier. I’ve heard that barbarian gets better at higher levels, but I felt like I was doing no damage, while Mr. M’s sorcerer killed everything in like two seconds. So most fights were me face tanking whatever we were fighting while he killed it from afar, which is our normal style, but usually I’m doing at least some damage, and it didn’t really feel that way with the barbarian build I was using.

Next weekend is the open beta, no preorder required, so we’ll see if the extra people bring back the queueing issues. They’re also opening up the Druid and Necromancer classes, so it’ll be fun to see how those play.

Since we play co-op, I usually play a paladin-type class that tanks and heals and does some DPS, while Mr. M plays a glass-cannon ranged DPS class. If you don’t play games, those words probably don’t make sense, but it basically means my character has a lot of armor and resistance, so I stand in front of enemies and keep their attention while Mr. M attacks them from a distance. He’s the one that deals most of the damage, but if his character gets hit, he dies, so it’s my job to keep the enemies focused on me. Barbarian fills that role, but it’s not my first choice, so I’m excited to try the other two classes.

This year is shaping up to be a big year for gaming, assuming the dev schedules hold, which is always iffy. We’ve got Redfall, the new Zelda, Diablo IV, and Starfield just to name a few. Are there any games you’re looking forward to this year? Did you happen to play the D4 beta? Let me know your thoughts!

Gray Day

It’s gray and drizzly today and generally very blah, which is kind of how this week has been. I got our taxes done and filed, which always takes longer than I expect. But it’s done, so yay for being responsible.

We have a formal dinner with a friend coming up next month, and Mr. M needed a new suit, so we decided to try our luck at Goodwill last night. Friends, he got a suit that looks tailored to him, plus a brand-new suit jacket that matches some pants he already had, a waistcoat, and a pair of dress shoes for less than $50.

I’m so jealous. The women’s section was, let’s say, less good.

Luckily, I have a clearance dress arriving today, which will either look ’20s glam or like a shiny bathrobe, and only time will tell. 😂 I did also order a safer backup dress, so if it’s shiny bathrobe, at least I’ll have options.

We rarely dress up, so it’s a fun excuse to look fancy, and the dress code said to err on the side of too much rather than not enough. I’m thinking about buying a fascinator, like I’m a duchess or some such nonsense. Ooh, and one of those long cigarette holder thingies, never mind that I don’t smoke and never have. I can just wave it around while I bemoan the peasantry.

I love it when a plan comes together. 😂

Do you dress up on the regular, or is it a rare event? Also, do you own a fascinator, and if so, is it awesome?

Signed Preorders for Capture the Sun!

If you’ve been waiting to order Capture the Sun until the signed preorder campaign went up, then I have good news! Today, BookPeople added the signed preorder page to their site! Not only can you order a signed and personalized copy of Capture the Sun, but you can also add any of my backlist books (in the same order), and I’ll sign/personalize them all!

Plus, the first fifty-ish orders of CTS will come with a bookmark and stickers!

Capture the Sun BookPeople Preorder! Get a signed/personalized book and a bookmark and stickers that feature the phrase "Steal hearts, punch fascists" with the stylized fox logo of Starlight's Shadow, while supplies last.

When you’re ordering, be sure to put your personalization request in the comments of the order (during checkout). And to make things easy, here are direct links to my backlist books, so you can add them to your cart:

Get your signed copies!
Capture the Sun
Hunt the Stars | Eclipse the Moon
Polaris Rising | Aurora Blazing | Chaos Reigning
The Queen’s Gambit | The Queen’s Advantage | The Queen’s Triumph

Happy Friday, y’all! 💕

Books & Broadswords: Epilogue

Part of the serial story Books & Broadswords

Books & Broadswords, Epilogue, on a purple background of dragon scales, with a crest of swords crossed behind an open book.

We’ve made it to the end! Thank you all so much for hanging out with me for the last few weeks as Feora and Ansel’s story unfolded. It was a delight reading all of your comments!

Thanks to my baby bro for the idea and for telling me it was “fucking awesome!!!!” when you read it. More authors need a cheerleader like you! 💕

I paced out my anxiety on top of the castle’s keep. I did not need to look at the calendar to know the importance of today’s date. It had been one year, six months, and ten days since I’d first met Ansel, and exactly one year since I’d offered to make him my mate.

Time might pass differently for dragons, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t track it precisely when the mood suited us.

Ansel had often pestered me in the early days to mate him immediately, but he hadn’t mentioned it in months, and I secretly wondered if he’d changed his mind. I was bracing for rejection even as I hoped for acceptance.

The last year had been one of the happiest in my long life.

Our store was flourishing, and if the townsfolk had any suspicions about my true nature, they kept them to themselves, especially since the crime rate had dropped dramatically since I’d arrived.

Ansel’s family was delightful, and they welcomed me with open arms.

I still stole the king’s gold with clockwork regularity, but since Ansel bought me as many books as I could ever want, I melted the royal marks and recast them into dragon coins that I gave to those who needed the help.