Thrilled to Announce

My new series, Ars Numina!

I’ve been teasing you with this revelation for a while, seems like since May or so, which is when the idea first took root.  But it takes time for a project to pass through various stages of completion, and happily, we are there! So without further ado, let me tell you about the secret project I’ve been working on. I haven’t written any romance since my NA series, and I miss it. So I hope you’re eager to read some paranormal sexytimes because I am all over it.

Welcome to the dangerous, delicious world of Ars Numina–with the fae Eldritch, ferocious Animari, and brutal Golgoth fighting for their happy endings. If you love paranormal romance and shapeshifters, this series is for you. The most notable aspect is that there are no human characters. They do exist elsewhere in the world, but these stories are set exclusively in paranormal territories. The books are both futuristic and alt-world, with enough intrigue, passion and action to sate an eager appetite.

The fae Eldritch have inspired elven and fairy lore over the years. They have strange tech and an ancient culture. A long-lived people, they are elegant and inscrutable to other supernatural powers. They also train an order of legendary assassins, known as Noxblades, and their ultimate goal is unknown.  The Animari are shifters with three main groups in power: the Ash Valley pride (cats), the Burnt Amber clan (bears), and the Pine Ridge pack (wolves). There are other shifters, but they are not part of the official alliance, and therefore lack political leverage. The Golgoth are the most feared, known to be brutal and relentless in their drive to conquest, and when they transform, it is into draconian or monstrous reptilian forms.

Tentatively, I have planned a six book arc, each about a different couple. The titles follow:

The Leopard King  (On sale at $2.99 during preorder period and release week only)
The Demon Prince
The Wolf Lord
The Shadow Warrior
The War Priest
The Jaguar Knight

And here is the blurb for book one!

Proud. Imperious. Impassioned.

Until three years ago, those words applied to Dominic Asher, the leader of Ash Valley. His family has ruled the feline branch of the Animari for hundreds of years, guiding the pride through perilous times. Unspeakable loss drove him into seclusion, a feral beast nobody can tame. Now he’s wrecked, a leopard king in exile, and he wants nothing more than to die.

Fierce. Loyal. Determined.

Fortunately for Dom, those words still apply to Pru Bristow, his dead mate’s best friend. She’s had her heart broken too, but she never quits. With the conclave approaching, alliances with the Pine Ridge pack and Burnt Amber clans on the verge of collapse, she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to drag their leader back, before his second can start a war.

At best theirs seems like a desperate alliance, but when their mate bond turns hot and fierce, there’s no end to the questions and the doubts. Neither of them expects to fall in love. But sometimes people don’t know what they’re looking for until they find it.

Here’s the cover art reveal!! A thousand thanks to Kanaxa.

tlk_large
thedemonprince_digital_largeHere’s what an early reader had to say about book 1:

“I really enjoyed the story. It was exactly where my current reading glom is. Lots of detailed world building like I’d find in UF but all the romance, sex, and HEA I need. It gave me the same happy feels as Nalini Singh’s Psy Changeling series.”

I’m so excited about this project and hope you are too! Now for the most important part… the first book will be out on…

SEPTEMBER 28!!

I’m adding the preorder links I have now and will update this post with more as they come from the vendors.

Preorder from Amazon

Preorder from Kobo

Preorder from iBooks

Preorder from BN/Nook

Preorder from 24Symbols

(More links to come)

Feel free to post your thoughts about the series or ask questions. I’ll give away 5 preorders here, too! (Random winners) Since I’m doing this series independently, I request your support, readers. Please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested.

YA book announcement

vanguard-temp-coverIn case you don’t follow social media, I wanted to talk about my new book deal. If you scroll down in that article, you’ll see that I’ve sold a novel set in the Razorland series. This isn’t a sequel in the traditional sense; rather I would call it a companion novel, like the novella I wrote about Thimble and Stone. 

This story will center around Tegan of the Staff aka Doctor Tegan, and the warrior-poet who loves her, James Morrow. Gavin will probably also join their adventures and possibly Millie, the girl who saved the world and didn’t even know it. Szarok may put in an appearance too and maybe one of the small folk. I have in mind this will be an epic sort of river / high seas adventure that will let me show you much more of the world than you saw even in Horde.

But Deuce and Fade deserve their rose-wreathed cottage, so even if they show up, it’ll be as secondary characters who live in Rosemere, like Stone and Thimble. This book is slated for release in Spring of 2017 and I hope you’re excited for it. As for me, I’m nervous about venturing back into this world again, but I’m tremendously chuffed, too–that you loved Tegan and Morrow so much, you begged so hard for their story and their happy ending. 

This isn’t the last story I’ll write in the Razorland world but it is the last one that could be considered dystopian. You’ll understand more as time wears on. 

Feel free to ask questions in comments if you have them, and please admire the lovely temporary cover made for this book by Nospheratt. Isn’t it amazing?! It will grace my site until we have actual art. (To be honest, if you added an arm behind the name plate in a clawed, torn sleeve, I would be THRILLED if that was my actual cover. That’s how great I think this is and so in line with the other books.) 

Oh, and to celebrate this sale, I’ll give away one copy of ANY of my books, released or coming soon. If it’s not out yet, I’ll preorder it for you. So comment away, yes, it’s international, and I’ll name the winner this time next week. 

ETA: BRANDY, commenter # 19, you have won! Congratulations. 

The Announcement of Awesomeness.

dance-monkey

Dance monkey in the house! (You know what that means.) Okay, first… review this post: Riding the Dragon. Are we on the same page regarding what books I’m talking about? Awesome!

So basically, we pitched these books a while back. Remember, I said I wouldn’t talk about that process and I didn’t. Mum’s the word! We got multiple offers, but in the end, we sold my new adult romance trilogy to Margo Lipschultz at Harlequin. Harlequin 4232detail

 

I can’t even articulate how much my new editor loves these books! Her enthusiasm (and the excitement of the WHOLE team at HQN) has been absolutely mind-blowing.

At this juncture, you might ask, “How so, Ann?”

I’m so glad you’re curious! THIS is why:  

I Want It That Way  |  As Long As You Love Me  |  The Shape of My Heart

If you’ve clicked those links, you’ll see that the first two books are already up for pre-order. The third one hasn’t posted yet but it should be out around the end of November, if the other release dates are any clue. This expeditious production schedule requires stratospheric commitment and devotion on the part of the publisher and the author. It’s great news for readers because you get to read the first in four months instead of waiting a full year to eighteen months. Honestly, the speed at which HQN has gotten behind this series is astonishing, incredible, and amazingly wonderful.  That quickly, I have six books coming out in 2014 instead of three. I hope this thrills you as much as it does me, readers. 

These are books I wrote from sheer love and passion, wedging them around my other deadlines even though my workload is already… sufficient. (Note: others would supply the word maniacal.) I have to write on spec. I have to chase chimeras down dark alleys. And I’m so glad I did.  I’m thrilled to be working with Margo and HQN; I wanted that since 2007 when we first pitched Grimspace, so this feels like a professional milestone. I remember going to a HQN panel at RWA, just so I could meet her and thank her for the nice things she said about my book. It meant a lot to the noob I was at the time.

Pretty awesome, huh? Feel free to leave questions and comments below. A random commenter will be selected to receive an arc of IWITW.

Dance monkey has big news. And so do I.

dance monkey I’m excited to officially announce the sale of a new YA series, this time contemporary romance, to Feiwel & Friends. I love working with them, and I’m tickled to be continuing my partnership with Liz Szabla, who is such a freakin’ genius.  The whole crew at F&F is amazeballs.

Anyhow. The first book is called The Queen of Bright & Shiny Things. I think this is an amazing YA title; I feel like it’s sweet, tender, raw, heartbreaking, beautiful, and a little profound, just like first love. It’s a big, deep book, not just a romance, though it is that, but also about love and relationships at all stages, people coming together and breaking apart, sometimes for reasons they can’t control. It’s emotionally rich, I think, on a level I’ve rarely achieved.

Blurb

Sage Czinski is trying really hard to be perfect. If she manages it, people won’t peer beyond the surface, or ask hard questions about her past. She’s learned to substitute causes for relationships, and it’s working just fine… until Shane Cavendish strolls into her math class. He’s a little antisocial, a lot beautiful, and everything she never knew she always wanted.

Shane Cavendish just wants to be left alone to play guitar and work on his music. He’s got heartbreak and loneliness in his rearview mirror, and this new school represents his last chance. He doesn’t expect to be happy; he only wants to graduate and move on. He never counted on a girl like Sage.

But love doesn’t mend all broken things, and sometimes life has to fall apart before it can be put back together again…

This is slotted for publication in spring of 2015, and I’m already working on some extremely cool extras. Hint: there are original songs! And music videos, starring a hot indie musician who perfectly embodies Shane’s look and musical style. I promise you’ll love this project as much as I do. The book is just so… I dunno. I feel like I need to get Courtney Milan, Karen Alderman, or Maja Colak to tell you more about it.

Anyway.  Here’s a big WHEE of excitement because this is my 30th book sold! Now you all know about my secret book, the one I wrote as a gift for my daughter. Well, she fell in love with it. So did my editor. And eventually, y’all can too.

*gambols madly*

 

Dance monkey does the YA sashay

dance monkeyIt has been really hard to keep quiet for the last two weeks. Major excitement has been percolating behind the scenes, but now, at last, I have clearance to announce the uber-exciting news.

NEW DEALS

HORDE, the final book in the dystopian Razorland trilogy, again to Liz Szabla of Feiwel & Friends, in a nice deal. By Laura Bradford, World English

MORTAL BEAUTY, Doctor Faustus meets Mean Girls in this edgy paranormal revenge trilogy set in a dark world of secret societies, twisted bargains, and forbidden love. Three books, in a good deal, to Liz Szabla of Feiwel & Friends. By Laura Bradford, North American.

Those are my guesstimates of what the PM announcements will say. How close I am, who knows? But the important bits are, I have sold FOUR more YA titles to Feiwel & Friends. Squee! Uber squee!

The schedule will tentatively look like this:

Fall 2013 Horde
2014 Mortal Beauty
2015 Dire Charm
2016 Dead Lovely

Title and projected dates may change. (Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.)

It’s so awesome to be able the share the news at last. Feel free to post comments, questions, and squees.

I did something crazy…

Imac Indigo You know how most people when they replace their current system, they opt for something faster, newer and more rugged?

Well, I just did the opposite. I had a Dell desktop PC, and it was no more than two years old. It was working just fine. Andres has kind of a shiny-toy habit, so if it had been him, he would’ve been hankering for something new by now. I know he’s seriously lusting after the HP Touch Smart PC.

As for me, well, I’ve always had a huge crush on the Imac. Not today’s Imac, mind you. I don’t care for the design, and I couldn’t care less about specs, as long as I can surf, check email, talk on IM, and write. That’s what I need a computer for.

So I made a radical decision. No more systems in my office that let me play all kinds of fun games, such as Neverwinter Nights, NWN 2, or Fallout 3. I took the plunge and bought this ancient adorable indigo Imac (yes, the one in the picture) on Mercado Libre (that’s like ebay in Mexico). This sexy old computer came to me from a dealer in Monterrey. I paid up and he sent it via UPS. I had it the next day!

And it was pure love from the moment I opened the box. I’ve never had a computer before that I didn’t have to ask my husband how to set up. It was totally plug and go. He did disassemble my Dell and wound up moving the Imac to my desk for me, but I could’ve done it if I hadn’t been on the way to pick up the kid from school. It was all done by the time I got home.

Now I have a spare cabinet in my desk, where the tower used to be. I’m going to turn it into a file storage area (with hanging folders), so I won’t need to buy a freestanding file cabinet after all. I have several sets of proofs waiting for me to make this happen. Better yet, I’m finding this Imac is perfect for my needs. It totally keeps me on task with its limitations.

Are you ready for the hilarious awesome specs? This bad boy has a fierce 600 mhz processor, 384 rocking megs of RAM, and a 13 gig HD. Pretty sweet, eh? But I can email, IM and do my work, which is what I need to be doing when I’m at my desk. I’m tickled pink with this thing, not least of all because I finally got one (almost for a song) when I wanted one so desperately when they were new, but I was too poor to afford them. I just love how cool these look, and I’m so into the whole “one unit” thing. Talk about efficient. I already have plans to have it repaired forever and ever when it starts to give me trouble; I love it that much. I even like this clack-y keyboard, the like of which I haven’t seen in years. I like the noise to confirm my keystrokes, but I haven’t been able to find one for a long time. Maybe I just have a retro soul.

So here’s to progress, even when it might look to other people like you’re going backward. What do you do that’s weird in marching to your unique inward drummer boy?

sharon shinn…

Is all that and a bag of chips.

She totally chatted with me for an hour and a half before our panel. (I had a panel with her! *dies of bliss*) Then I sat next to her at the signing. Her line was a sight to behold and I had a few people stop by as well.

I know I had a goofy happy smile on the whole time, but hello, I was sitting by Sharon Shinn! It wouldn’t have mattered if people had been throwing fish at me. I’d have still been beaming. The fact that I had a few books to sign was just frosting on the cake.

It’s so awesome when your idols turn out to be every bit as amazing as you have imagined over the years. Today was pure win.

Dance monkey says… paranormal romance

dance monkey

So I’ve been alluding to this for a few weeks, but I now have final confirmation and permission to share. The notice has been filed officially with Publishers Marketplace.

But first let me give you the backstory. A few months ago, I came up with an idea for a series of linked single-title paranormal romances. I discussed the project at length with my wonderful beta reader. She had some fantastic ideas, and we both got really excited.

I wrote the synopsis and a three chapter partial. Laura loved it, so after I made a few tweaks, she pitched to Penguin. Since we’ve both been so thrilled with our treatment there, we didn’t want to take the project anywhere else. After that, the waiting period began.

As is my custom, I kept busy and thought about the incipient project as little as possible. I didn’t want to get too attached to something that might not come to fruition. I wrote and revised books, did interviews, chatted with readers and generally worked on other things.

Then a couple of weeks ago, Laura told me she’d had a conversation with Cindy at Berkley, who liked the idea, but she wanted some things in the synopsis clarified. The backstory needed to be strengthened among other things. So I rewrote it. Laura sent the revised version along, and we waited some more.

Last night, I got a text message from Laura that just said: IM me.

So I did. Since we don’t belong to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, I had a good idea what she wanted, but I was nonetheless thrilled to get the news. I have a book deal. As of now, I’m also writing paranormal romances for Berkley Sensation. You can find these awesome books under the name AVA GRAY. I’ll soon have a website set up, but I’ll have links from Ava’s site to this one, and vice versa.

In case anyone is confused, Annie Dean is retired. You need not remember that name for any reason. When the domain expires, that site will go “poof” and no more books will be forthcoming. AVA GRAY suits the tone of these romances better, and any pure romances I write in the future will be published under AVA GRAY. Clear?

Here’s a sneak peek at Kyra and Reyes:

He was a hitman sent to kill her; she was a con artist who counted cards to the tune of two million from a casino in Vegas.

Before her dad bought into the idea he could work the system, they traveled together like Moses Pray and Addie Loggins in Paper Moon. Those were the happiest times for Kyra, even if they didn’t enjoy a conventional existence. But her dad found a “foolproof” system that would let him beat the house at any casino. She didn’t want him messing around; she’d heard they were made men, mob-connected, but her dad wouldn’t listen.

He promised Kyra life on easy street, but he got caught—and wound up with a punctured lung. With his dying breath, he told her who was responsible—and she set out to humiliate the bastard who had her father beaten and left for dead, Gerard Serrano, owner of The Silver Lady.

First, she staked out the place, learned his habits. Then she studied his sexual preferences and the kind of women he preferred—and turned herself into his ideal. That meant a new name, new identity. She even stored the only thing her father left her, his 1973 Grand Marquis. It took a good six months to work her way into his inner circle.

For Kyra, faking it came easy. She possessed the gift of absorption; it permitted her to steal someone else’s best skill for a limited time. She could be a gambler, a fighter, an athlete, a musician, an artist—anything she wanted…until the clock ran out. A lesser adjunct of this ability was called transference. If she wanted to, she could snatch a talent and pass it to somebody else.

Kyra made herself date Gerard, stringing him along, but she never gave him any satisfaction. She refused him anything more than kisses. The time in Vegas was the longest she ever spent in one place, the biggest con of her life, but it was so worth it when he proposed.

She took his ring and then gambled it at the tables, using a skill she’d stolen from a card counter nearby. When she won millions at 21, she held up a sign for the security camera, knowing Gerard would see it eventually. “Sorry, I was only in it for the money. Thanks for the stake, but I’d rather DIE than marry you.”

Like all good pros, she took the money and ran. Gerard became a laughingstock, the butt of all jokes. Furious and humiliated, Serrano began taking steps to make her preferences a reality. Nobody got away with screwing him over. Nobody.

That was where Reyes came in.

Before Reyes terminated her, he had to find out where she hid the cash. Gerard Serrano didn’t just want her dead; he wanted his money back, and then he wants to be there when she dies. For all Reyes knew, his employer might intend to record it as an object lesson to those who cross him. If Gerard Serrano was ever going to regain the status he once enjoyed, he had to prove to his peers that some little chick did not, in fact, get the best of him. He needed to put her down hard, or he’d never shake the stigma, never get the upper hand in Vegas again.

As he hunted her, Reyes didn’t realize what Kyra could do at first, but he sensed there was something unusual about her, and he never acted without having all the facts. He needed time to figure out what made her tick, and would receive a performance bonus if he recovered part of the two million before offing her.

That meant joining her on the run, and trying to unearth her secrets, including where she stashed the loot, since she hadn’t been flashing any of it around. Kyra wasn’t an easy nut to crack, but she was hungry for sex, starved for physical contact. She never touched unless she means to steal, denying herself pleasure, so she was ripe when he made a move. She found his dark, dangerous appeal all but irresistible.

But Kyra surprised Reyes by giving him the slip in the morning. She was perfectly capable of taking what she wants from a man and moving on. Getting into Kyra’s world wouldn’t be as easy as he thought…

These will be strong, kick-ass action romances with more sexxoring than you’ll find my urban fantasy or SFR, but I do expect to have quite a few crossover readers. They will explore “Talented” individuals finding their perfect mates — not in the sense that they’re predestined to be together, but in finding that one person who isn’t affected by the supernatural things the hero or heroine can do. I definitely won’t shortchange you on heat or the falling-in-love thrill. I’ll just combine it with high octane action.

I hope you’re as excited as I am. Now is zee time on zee blog ven ve dance!

braggadocio

brag·ga·do·ci·o /ˌbrægəˈdoʊʃiˌoʊ/
Pronunciation[brag-uh-doh-shee-oh]
–noun, plural -ci·os.
1. empty boasting; bragging.
2. a boasting person; braggart.

Since I’m ordinarily not prone to this, I hope you’ll forgive this self-indulgence. But two things have happened since I blogged last that I want to tell the world about. I suspect this may fall under the category of self-aggrandizement, but I hope you’ll see beneath all that to the true fangirl squeeing beneath.

Event 1
I got an email from Nora Roberts.

No, really. I’m just gonna leave it there because I’d just embarrass myself with embellishment. Anyone who knows me well can imagine all the muffled, gleeful shrieks.

Event 2
I ran across a blog that reminded me why I write, this entry in particular. I’ll sample for those who are disinclined to click.

I’m a loyal reader. When I put an author on an autobuy list, it’s next to impossible to move it off. That’s most likely because authors have to really sell me in order to get onto the list in the first place. In regards to my choices for my top 4 authors I reviewed in 2007, two of them are now on that list (one through more reading, reviews of which will be coming in the New Year), and the other two are really close to being autobuys. That’s always a great feeling. I love having authors I can rely on.

She then lists the top three runners up for her favorite author of the year. But guess who she chose as winner for 2007?

Annie Dean

Ms. Dean’s books are on my autobuy list. I read three of her stories this year, and while I enjoyed all of them – one quite a bit more than the other two – they’re not the reason I adore her. Her voice is the single most distinctive, most entertaining, most literate voice I read online all year. Hands down. Even when I don’t necessarily care for a character, she keeps me hooked in the story by her clever phrasing, her colorful dialogue, and more. She’s moving into print now, and I have her book, Grimspace, pre-ordered. I didn’t even read the blurb. I just know I want it.

Breathless with delight. That’s the best way I can describe my reaction. It leaves me breathless. I have favorite authors. I’ve never been anyone’s favorite author.

This is why I write, for these moments of connection, when it comes back to me that I’ve written something that moved someone.

This is why I write.

And so, dear readers, I hope you’ll forgive this moment of self-aggrandizement (which is actually something else). I’m humbled today. And I know that I am blessed.