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Back to Blogging

I have plenty of eyes watching me work, lol.

It’s been ages since I’ve written an actual blog post that wasn’t a release announcement. I do enjoy writing these posts, but I’ve been so focused on creating my books that I kept procrastinating on writing another blog.

So much has gone on in my life since my last blog post, and to be honest, after reviewing and redoing my website, I realized that those old posts just didn’t fit into what I was planning for the future, so I deleted them to make way for a more consistent series of blog posts. From now on, I intend to structure my blog posts into specific categories that will (hopefully) be easily accessible via my website menu. Of course, there will still be new release announcements, but I also want to have an “Updates” category so I can create posts letting my fans know what I’m working on, or what I’m planning to start, and another category for supplemental content to my books that will expand upon the universes I’ve created for each of my series. I’m really excited about that second category, which I’m thinking of titling “Lore and More.”

Now, the reason I started thinking about adding lore blogs was because I have made the commitment (finally) to typing up my series bibles into a format that will make researching for new books in each series much, much easier! Currently, my world-building and character and timeline notes are scattered all over the place. I have about a dozen journals, a pile of looseleaf notebook paper, and a bunch of napkins and receipts and envelopes, all of which contain notes that are pertinent to my published novels and the worlds and characters I created for them.

And the name of that obscure character I referenced briefly in book one is…ah…chaos!

I love to bring in details in new books from previous books in the series, especially the small details that may have only been mentioned in passing before that many readers may not actually notice, but I love to drop little Easter eggs in the hopes that my fans will pick up on them. Friak was in my ITS universe from the very first book, The Scorpion’s Mate, even though he hadn’t even been born yet, lol. In fact, sometimes those small details end up becoming a pivotal part of a plot in a new book I’m working on, (Friak’s story is a prime example of a callback to a previous book, and a crossover at that), and when that happens, I’m totally stoked. I don’t always plan these things in advance, but sometimes I do plan it, then I forget my original plan because months or even years pass between the book I wrote that introduced that detail and the new book I’m writing that will make the most use of that detail.

In case you didn’t know it was out. 😉

To combat missing out on these things, I will often reread the entire series before writing the next book, but as you can imagine, when the series gets longer and longer, that option becomes less viable if I want to get books finished in a timely manner. Plus, rereading six or seven books in a series to then write the eighth can give me a bit of series fatigue that makes me want to hop around to new projects. I love my stories, and I love to reread them, but not when I feel like I’m under the gun with (self-imposed, usually) deadlines.

So, I created a template for my series bibles. Well, several templates actually, including a timeline template and character details template. As I’m going back through each of my series, rereading not only the books themselves but also digging through the extensive notes filled with details and events I never published, I am discovering some stuff that I’m finding entertaining to rewrite or expand upon. A lot of this is lore, like the origin mythologies that I had to condense while writing them out by hand because my brain was working too fast for my pen. Then there’s the detailed information on the cities, the worlds, the complexities of the political landscape for each species, the mating rituals, the theologies….

Dear Pen, Why’d you fail me? I’m so disappointed. Sincerely, Brain

Okay, perhaps not all of these things will be as interesting to my fans as they are to me, but I’m thinking my readers might enjoy some of the mythologies and legends associated with my worlds and characters. Like perhaps they might want to read the tale of Doshakeren’s epic battle against the Northern Mountain as told by the storytellers of his old nest. Or maybe even how the Fayi tell the tale of their origin, and how they describe Cold Mother and her Dark Nest.

Right now, those particular tales are still in note form, but I have fully completed the origin myths for Tak of Clan Et, from my Into the Dead Fall book of the series with the same name, and Iyaren, who is the other hero in that same book. I drew inspiration from Ancient Egyptian mythology for Tak and Iyaren’s character designs, as well as the god and goddess they once served, and I stuck with that inspiration for their origin myths. I focused on the Osiris myth, but I veered far from that inspiration, creating relationships and connections that didn’t exist in the inspiration myth. Still, the influence is there, and loving Ancient Egyptian mythology like I do, I don’t shy away from it, while at the same time I did my own thing.

Ever since I was a kid, Ancient Egypt has fascinated me!

What I love most about Tak and Iyaren’s origin myths is that they are two separate versions of the same story that, when compared side-by-side, show the biases of each species and how their different perspectives (from opposite sides of a battlefield) influenced the tales they tell about their origins.

I love to present a story from multiple points of view that conflict with each other in order to examine how perspective alone can change the shades of a story, so something that appears clear-cut when viewed from one angle is quite a bit fuzzier when viewed from the opposing angle. But I digress….

Allow me to get back on topic. I would like to share these bits of lore, from myth to legend, to short stories recounting heroic deeds of actual book characters, because they will be the kinds details that I intend to record as I continue typing up my series bibles.

These are the kinds of details that I love to see from those series that I am interested in that are created by other authors. They’re the details that don’t make it into the books. They’re tales that might be referenced but are never actually told to the readers, because they don’t pertain to the specific story. It’s important to remain laser-focused when working on a manuscript so I avoid bloating it with extraneous details. (My idea of extraneous differs from some other readers, as I like lots of world building, but not at the cost of story pacing.)

I feel like both my blog posts and my newsletter exclusives can be a place where I share these bits of lore and further expand upon my worlds and characters, because I imagine that if someone is subscribing to these, then they are invested in the worlds and characters I’ve created, and like me, they want to know more than what I can cover in the stories I’ve published. (Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss exclusive content! :D)

So, in addition to hopefully blogging with regular updates, along with sending out a monthly newsletter with exclusive content, I plan to start sharing lore as I complete it or come across it in my scattered mess of notes while working on my series bibles.

I will categorize this first blog in ages as “Updates”, and so I will add a quick update. I am currently working on Uriale’s Redemption, which is book 5 in my Shadows in Sanctuary series. I know I’ve been promising this book for literal years, and for not delivering in a timely manner, I apologize! It’s because I’ve failed to deliver this book for so long that I stopped making promises for upcoming releases until the first draft of a manuscript was complete to my satisfaction.

I’m 65k words into this book, and the story is concrete in my mind now (fully developed and fully visualized), which means this is the one! The final version! The one I was meant to write, though I still have a ways to go before it’s complete.  

The outline for Uriale’s Redemption has gone through multiple rewrites throughout the years, and in fact, I ended up realizing I couldn’t even tell his story until I told another story first, which ended up becoming Executioner’s Grace, because Uriale’s destiny involved something that hadn’t happened yet. I won’t go into further details that would be spoilery, but suffice it to say, all the pieces are finally in place on the board, and now it’s time to play the game.

In addition to Uriale’s book, I’m working on a little side project set in the same world, because as I develop certain aspects of a story, I’m inspired to expand on…well…lore. Including the origin stories of certain factions in my books. I’ve always had extensive notes for that lore, but now, I am fleshing out a complete story with a bit of a horror flavor to it, though it is still intended to be a romance with an HEA (of sorts). I have been wanting to write a horror-romance forever, and though most of my books flirt with horror elements, I have always wanted to make the story a little darker (by “a little” I mean a lot XD). So far, I’m just playing around with this side project while using it to flesh out the main world building, but if I finish the story I envision, it may end up being a novella length that I would consider publishing. If you’re interested in such a story, comment below and let me know!

Other projects are in the works too. Kevos’s book (Sentinel’s Journey, book 2 of my Children of the Ajda series) and Ava’s book (The Director’s Mate, book 9 of my Iriduan Test Subjects series) are still on target for this year, fingers crossed. I will also be working on those series bibles and whew! Those notes are insanely extensive! It’s a lot. My readers have seen only a small fraction of how much detail there is in the Iriduan Test Subjects series universe especially.

What kind of tales and lore would you like to see? What books would you like to see from me? Which characters are you really eager to see more of?

Let me know in the comments, because I take all of the feedback from my fans into consideration when planning future projects. My Shadows in Sanctuary series is one that I resurrected specifically because so many fans of the series contacted me hoping for the next book, when I had thought no one was interested in the series anymore, so I’d backburnered my manuscripts for that series.

Thank you so much for reading my blog, and if you’re subscribed to this blog or my newsletter (or both!), know that I really appreciate your support. I am honored and thrilled that you want to continue on this journey with me.

Categories
Announcements

Friak’s Spark is now LIVE!

My latest ebook is now available exclusively on Amazon!

(Print copies coming soon)

Social media post featuring Friak's Spark novel.

I’m so excited to have the final book in Valerie’s story go live, and I hope you all love it as much as I do. Though Friak’s Spark focuses on Friak and Valerie’s relationship, Alex and Sherak still have important roles in this book, as it is a story of all four of them finally forming a family, though many obstacles stand in the way of their happily ever after.

Also, I’ll be sending out a newsletter announcing this new release, and I included a 1200 word “interview” of Friak by the New Omni Review that didn’t quite go as the interviewer planned. 😀

If you sign up for my newsletter after I send it out, you can still get that newsletter delivered to you as a thank you email in response to your signing up.

I’m going to try to send out one newsletter a month that will contain some bit of exclusive content like this, as well as occasional announcements about new releases, special offers, or any other important announcements or updates, but I won’t be flooding email boxes with spam, which reminds me, if you’re already signed up for my newsletter, but haven’t been getting them, be sure to check your spam folder for emails from Susan Trombley SFR Author!

Now on to the blurby blurb!


Friak

I spent years in a parallel dimension, jumping to serve the whims of a female I’d believed to be my one true mate. Then I learned the truth about her the hard way after failing to complete a mission she’d given me. I discovered that she had only been using me—and turning me into a monster in the process.

After my actions led to my Uncle Gray having to destroy the Nexus dimensional portal, it ended up stranding a human woman named Valerie in our world. When I sought her out to apologize for her circumstances and my unwitting part in them, I was stunned to feel my flame stirring in the ashes left behind by my former spark.

It seemed that I had somehow been given a second chance at love with a new spark. Such a thing was unprecedented for my father’s people, the Histri’i, and could only be a gift of fate. The only problem was that I could not accept that gift. I was unworthy of my new spark after all that I had done for the previous one. Valerie deserved better than me, and the only way I could convince her of that was to make her hate me enough to keep me at a distance.

When fate proved determined and thrust us back together again in a situation we couldn’t escape, I realized that all my efforts to deny my spark were futile. I needed her, more than I needed my next breath, and I couldn’t resist her any longer. I had to claim her as mine—and once I did, I would never let her go.

Even if it meant reconciling with my cousin—who had threatened my life the last time we spoke.

Author’s Note: This book is part of a three-book story with the same heroine. Each book will focus on a different hero who will become one of her mates, while advancing the story and the growth of her “nest.” She will have all three mates by the end of the three books. These books are best read in order, starting with “Sherakeren’s First Date,” then “Alexander’s Nest,” and finally, this book.


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Alexander’s Nest is now LIVE on Amazon!

Alexander finally learns what it means to be part of a nest…

I’m very excited and anxious about my latest release, Alexander’s Nest, which is book 3 in my “Children of the Dead Fall” series. I’m having a lot of fun with this series, and I hope you are too! There is one more book to go for our intrepid heroine Valerie after this one, and that book, “Friak’s Spark” will be released on April 11, 2022. You can preorder it now!

It is always a pleasure for me to return to the world of the Dead Fall and all the quirky characters who live there, and I know many of my wonderful fans feel the same. I hope you love the new series and want to see more from it!

I do have several other books currently in the works, and they are at various stages right now, so I couldn’t give any approximate release dates yet, though I would love to. I can say that I am still working on some of my other series this year and I’m very excited about the upcoming books!

Until then, read on below for the description of Alexander’s Nest!

Alexander

I left New Omni and struck out into the Dead Fall in search of a place where I could feel content, hoping the growing restlessness driving me would finally come to an end once I found my “nest.” I felt so certain that my destiny lay somewhere out in the ruins, now that the path to my father’s homeworld was gone. I was so sure I would find a nest that I could feed and protect as a proper Fayi male should.

But the new nest I found didn’t bring me fulfillment, nor peace. I realized too late that I had already found my home—in the arms of my best friend Valerie, the human woman I had abducted from her own dimension after mistaking her for my brother’s mate.

Only, Valerie had grown tired of my philandering ways and would not risk her heart on a male who couldn’t settle down and commit only to her. She’d put an end to our “friendship with benefits” relationship—and broke my heart in the process.
It was my fault she’d rejected me, because I had not offered what she needed most. When I returned to New Omni after realizing that what I needed most was her, I discovered that she had already chosen a mate—my own brother, Sherakeren.

Was it too late to convince her that she was the only woman for me? Even if I could, would my big bro accept me into their nest?

Author’s Note: This book is part of a three-book story with the same heroine. Each book will focus on a different hero who will become one of her mates, while advancing the story and the growth of her “nest.” She will have all three mates by the end of the three books. These books are best read in order, starting with “Sherakeren’s First Date.” This book is the follow up, with “Friak’s Spark” as the third.


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Heading Back to the Dead Fall!

It’s here! Vincent’s Resolution is now LIVE on Amazon!

Ready for a blind date with an alien and a return to the Dead Fall with a brand new spin-off series of my “Into the Dead Fall” series, following the next generation of Dead Fall citizens?

This time around, the story takes place in a new series spin-off called Children of the Dead Fall, and book 1 features Vincent, one of Evie’s lovable grub worm squirmies, all grown up and sexy as sin. With a six pack of belly claws and a thirst for blood, he’s setting out to find his forever mate, and a paranormal critter-loving human named Gabby seems like just the kind of woman who will appreciate Vincent’s “special” attributes.


Blurb:

Gabby

My bestie, Valerie, offered to hook me up with a quirky oddball of a man she met at the gas station where she works. She insisted that he would be perfect for me, because he’s into the paranormal so much that he has modified his appearance to look like a vampire, complete with fangs, pointed ears, and inhuman eyes. She knows I love anything paranormal or supernatural—or just plain weird—and honestly, her description of Vincent certainly had me intrigued.

Though she managed to talk me into taking Vincent to her New Year’s Eve bash as my blind date, I had my reservations, but one of my New Year’s resolutions was to take risks and try new things in an effort to live my life to its fullest, instead of just existing. Starting that resolution early seemed to pay off when I met my date. Vincent turned out to be as gorgeous as she’d described, and his body modifications were certainly as unusual as she’d promised.

Then he took me back to his place, and I discovered that his body wasn’t modified at all. He’s not pretending to be a vampire.

He is one—and an alien one at that!

****

Vincent

When it came time to seek my mate, I knew I would end up traveling to another dimension through the Nexus to find her. Wanting the kind of forever-love that my parents enjoyed, I focused on my half-human side and decided to search for a human mate on a world much like the one my own mother, Evie, was abducted from so many years ago.

To my surprise, I was able to hide in plain sight amongst the humans, who believed my Fayi features were a result of artificial body alterations. As long as they never saw me with my shirt off, they wouldn’t guess that I had six deadly, venomous claws the Fayi call “claudas” that extended from my chitinous spine. Unfortunately, being unable to take my shirt off until I knew I could trust a woman not to freak out when she saw my claudas made dating more complicated.

Then the manager of the gas station where I stopped in every day to satisfy my sweet tooth told me all about her best friend—a woman named Gabby who loved the unusual and paranormal. Gabby sounded exactly like the kind of woman who would embrace my inhuman nature—and allow me to embrace her with my claudas. I just hoped she would be prepared to leave her world behind forever and return with me to the Dead Fall to become the most important part of mine.


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Executioner’s Grace is Now LIVE!

It’s finally here! Executioner’s Grace, book 4 of my Shadows in Sanctuary series is finally LIVE on Amazon! I’m so excited (and nervous!) about this release!

It was a long time in coming, I know. Years in fact! I loved how this book turned out. I love Hannah and Carnifex and their journey to their HEA. I hope you do too! I also hope you’d like to see more from the series, because I do have a very firm plan for book 5 (Uriale’s Redemption)! And many ideas for future books in the series if my readers want more!

https://books2read.com/excecutioners-grace

Before I give you the blurb, I want to give a HUGE special thanks to everyone who contacted me asking for this next installment in this series! It was all the support and love this series got from my fans that encouraged me to pull the series out of retirement and add the next two books. That made me VERY happy, because this series has always held a special place in my heart! ❤ It really does make a difference to hear from my fans. You all inspire me, and I can’t thank you enough!


Blurb:

Genetic engineer Dr. Hannah Chrysander is no longer considered a prisoner of the umbrose, but her upgraded status requires cooperation on her part. Assisting the human-umbrose couples in creating hybrid offspring leaves her deeply conflicted, not to mention burdened with fear that something will go wrong, and that her head will be the next one on the chopping block.

Finding herself on the wrong end of Carnifex’s axe isn’t even her greatest fear.

As the voice of a ghost haunts her when she’s alone in her lab, she’s worried she might be losing her mind from all the stress. Outside her lab, she feels eyes watching her from the dark shadows of Sanctuary and knows that not all the umbrose are happy about her work.

Surrounded by threats in the city of her former enemies, Hannah has no idea where to turn for help.

Then the watcher in the shadows reveals himself, and she discovers that she’s in the sights of the most enigmatic umbrose of all—the executioner himself.

Carnifex feels drawn to the human female who appears to be working miracles by creating impossible offspring. Though ugly whispers about Hannah’s work emanate from some corners of Sanctuary, Carnifex believes she is doing the will of the Mother of Shadows and finds her ability to create life fascinating.

His primal simply believes that Hannah belongs to him, and he is determined to claim her, even if Prince Balfor himself tries to stand in the way.


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It’s been a busy year!

So, the “year in review” posts are going around on Facebook right now, and I’m so glad I got tagged to do one, because I don’t think I would have taken the time for it if I hadn’t, but it was valuable time spent. I’m far too often focused on the future, without taking a moment to look back at what I’ve already accomplished. This means I never give myself a chance to be proud of the work I’ve already done. That has led to some serious burnout at the end of this year, and that is definitely not how I want to start the new year!

So, how was my 2019 when it came to writing?

Books from in 2019

After doing the legwork to calculate everything up, I’d say it was pretty darn good! I wrote over 531,000 words this year, and most of them are published into fantastic books that I am very proud of. I feel like I wrote some of my best work this year, though I am always striving to improve and studying my craft, so maybe I’ll even top myself next year.

I finished a five-book series (Into the Dead Fall) which has been a passion project of mine that I decided to share with the world. I’m very happy with how it ended, though there is always room for more stories if I decide to continue with the world I’ve created. Since it’s a series I love going back to, and has that post-apocalyptic feel to it that I relish in my fiction, I don’t think I’ll be able to stay away from it for that long, but if you love this series too, and want to see more books set in this world, the best way to let me know is to spread the word through social media and reviews. I try to focus on the books that my readers are excited about, so some of my projects that don’t get much attention end up getting pushed to the back-burner until I can find the time to play around with them.

I dived into some AI science fiction romance that let me explore a whole new kind of “alien” mind and indulge in my fascination with emerging sentience. I’m very pleased with how my SFR fairy tale retelling of Rapunzel turned out, and the possibilities for a series spawned from this book are endless, but I have many ideas, and have drafted out a couple that I’m looking forward to developing for next year.

And of course I can’t forget my Iriduan Test Subjects series and the two exciting stories I added to that. I’m drawing ever closer to the conclusion of the over-arching story line of this series, though I have many more books planned that are set in the ITS universe. I love writing the characters in this series. With each book, they grow more complex, more nuanced, their motivations more obscure until the final denouement. That’s coming up! Halian the villain will finally get his story, and I hope I will surprise and thrill all my wonderful fans with his side of the story.

So here’s the breakdown of what I plan for 2020:

(This is all subject to change, of course, based on many factors, but this is what I’ve set for my own personal calendar. Also, the order is definitely subject to change. Other than The Fractured Mate, which I’m working on now, I don’t have a planned order for the books.)