Steadfast Cover Reveal – Michelle Hauck

It all starts, of course, with getting hit with the writing bug. You have an idea for a story. You bravely sit down and write it. You learn that you don’t know how to write quite yet and you begin to gather experience plucked from other writers farther down the road. 

A manuscript or four later your craft has improved enough to land an agent. Your brilliant story goes out to the scary land of editors and may or may not sell. But you persist. You write other stories if the first one fails. And eventually you make your first sale for, say, three books.

Now you are faced with the scary fact that you need to write your first sequel and carry on a story line. You get the wonderful news that the characters you adore will live on. At the same time, you are full of anxiety that a sequel is a daunting thing and you’ve never tried one before. Bravely you forge forward and write a sequel that meets your editor’s approval. 

A new first appears now that you conquered the other challenge. You now have to write the ending book of a series. You have to take all the characters and all the obstacles you created and bring them to, not just an end, but a highly exciting end. Once again you doubt your talent and ability. You plunge forward nonetheless. And you succeed.

Cover reveals. Release days. Publishers Marketplace announcements. All those days are great days, but they are blips on the actual journey. The true test is the challenge you meet everyday to go out and do what scares you because you might fail– and see yourself instead succeed. 

So a cover reveal is not so much a celebration of art as it is a celebration of spirit. Another test passed. Another doubt proved groundless. A forging forward on the journey of you, whether you are a writer or something else. 

Proof I climb this mountain in the form of a third cover for my Birth of Saints series. Thank you for being a witness and may you climb your mountains. 

 Do what scares you my friends and face those challenges.  
Against an angry god whose only desire is to wipe out all life, what hope is there to survive?The army from the north has left a trail of burned and captured cities. In trying to stop them, Claire and Ramiro unleashed the northern god, Dal, but now they face two monstrosities and no amount of honor or hope can stop the killing as Dal grows in power.

Searching for a miracle, Claire finds the elders of the Women of the Song, who might teach her a thing or two about using her voice magic to fight back—if they can put aside their own problems first—while Ramiro searches for truth in his dreams, leading him to the northern priestess Santabe, the only one who could share her knowledge of Dal and the mysterious magical Diviners. 

Claire must unite the Women of the Song in the face of utter destruction, and Ramiro must decide how far he will go to get the answers he needs to defeat the rampaging god.


It will take nothing less than a saint to rise and face the leviathan before they all become martyrs. (unofficial blurb)

Steadfast releases December 5, 2017


Enter Giveaways to Win Signed Copies of Grudging and Faithful:


A world of chivalry and witchcraft…and the invaders who would destroy everything.

The North has invaded, bringing a cruel religion and no mercy. The ciudades-estados who have stood in their way have been razed to nothing, and now the horde is before the gates of Colina Hermosa…demanding blood.

On a mission of desperation, a small group escapes the besieged city in search of the one thing that might stem the tide of Northerners: the witches of the southern swamps.

The Women of the Song.

But when tragedy strikes their negotiations, all that is left is a single untried knight and a witch who has never given voice to her power. And time is running out.

A lyrical tale of honor and magic, Grudging is the opening salvo in the Book of Saints trilogy.




Following Grudging–and with a mix of Terry Goodkind and Bernard Cornwall–religion, witchcraft, and chivalry war in Faithful, the exciting next chapter in Michelle Hauck’s Birth of Saints series!

A world of Fear and death…and those trying to save it.

Colina Hermosa has burned to the ground. The Northern invaders continue their assault on the ciudades-estados. Terror has taken hold, and those that should be allies betray each other in hopes of their own survival. As the realities of this devastating and unprovoked war settles in, what can they do to fight back?

On a mission of hope, an unlikely group sets out to find a teacher for Claire, and a new weapon to use against the Northerners and their swelling army.

What they find instead is an old woman.

But she’s not a random crone—she’s Claire’s grandmother. She’s also a Woman of the Song, and her music is both strong and horrible. And while Claire has already seen the power of her own Song, she is scared of her inability to control it, having seen how her magic has brought evil to the world, killing without reason or remorse. To preserve a life of honor and light, Ramiro and Claire will need to convince the old woman to teach them a way so that the power of the Song can be used for good. Otherwise, they’ll just be destroyers themselves, no better than the Northerners and their false god, Dal. With the annihilation their enemy has planned, though, they may not have a choice.

A tale of fear and tragedy, hope and redemption, Faithful is the harrowing second entry in the Birth of Saints trilogy.




About the Author:

Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two college-going kids. Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. She is a co-host of the yearly contests Query Kombat, Nightmare on Query Street, Picture Book Party, and Sun versus Snow. Her Birth of Saints trilogy, starting with Grudging (November 17, 2015) and Faithful (November 15, 2016) and Steadfast (December 2017)  is published by Harper Voyager. Another epic fantasy, Kindar’s Cure, is published by Divertir Publishing.

Find her on twitter at @Michelle4Laughs or at her blog.
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Micro-Horror: The Package

A young student living in an apartment building was surprised to find upon checking their mailbox that a book due to arrive that day had not. There was nothing waiting for them outside the apartment door in the building hallway, and when checked online, the package said “delivered.”

The following day the student received a different package from a courier, and decided to ask the woman whether she recalled a parcel from the previous day and whether it may have been delivered to the wrong apartment.

“Oh yes,” the courier answered. “There was a package for you yesterday. I dropped it off to the other young man at around two.”

The student shivered.

“But I live alone,” they said.

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Pimp My Bio 2017

Having previously written a Pitchwars mentee bio for the 2015 contest, I’ve decided to up the ante this time by outing myself publicly as an Evil Space Monster From Beyond. I know this will come as a shock to a great many people (less so others–Mom, Dad, Agnes, Lucas . . .), but I feel it’s important to announce this now to set myself apart from the rest of the (human) crowd.

Feeding off fresh human flesh has long put me at a disadvantage, professionally speaking. While applying for PhD programs it was often the case that application forms would explicitly prohibit flesh-eating within the walls of academic institutions, meaning that days spent lecturing, TAing, or attending classes would see me missing important meals and lacking essential nutrients (like those provided by human bone marrow). Luckily, Concordia University’s Religious Studies department provides a safe haven for us self-identified muscle-masticating monsters, and I now have the opportunity to live openly and comfortably while pursuing higher education on a full stomach (watch out if you’re late to class!).

While most days I take advantage of the plowed and salted sidewalks to walk to campus, I am also lucky enough to have been provided two feline space beasts, who I will occasionally harness to my death chariot for faster-than-light travel. The nice lady at the cat rescue seemed to think these were normal animals, but I think you’ll agree that Figure 1 proves otherwise:
Spacebeast1
Figure 1. (undoctored)

Somehow, despite the rigors of coursework and grading, I completed my second manuscript (formerly and affectionately known–by me–as Lesbian Vikings) this winter. Since, as an Evil Space Monster From Beyond, I love tearing things into itty-bitty pieces, the prospect of revising Lesbian Vikings during Pitchwars appeals to me on a primal level.

As a mentee, I promise not to bite (much).

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Silly Things That Put Me in a Bad Mood

 

1.When the easy-to-open plastic tear-y bits on frozen fruit packets won’t tear.
2. People walking up/down the wrong stairs and/or wrong side of the hallway/street.
3.Cellphones
4.Websites and posts that insist on list format.
5.Oops.

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A Heartwarming Story of Christmas Cheer


Full disclosure: I wrote this in just over half an hour for a Flash Fiction contest, then missed the deadline. It is probably terrible.

Also, this is the kind of place my mind goes when I hear “winter holiday celebration.” Deepest apologies. 

A Heartwarming Story of Christmas Cheer

“Great, Gary, that’s great.”

“We’ve got others—I mean. If you prefer a red suit I can do red no problem.”

“No, no. Orange is fine. Really. She won’t mind.”

“You sure? ‘Cause I can do red. Still three days.”

“No,” I say, though my gut tells me yes, ask for a red one. You paid for a red one. Gloria specifically asked for a red one. It’s Christmas for chrissakes, and you know how Gloria is and the fuss she’ll make and how she’ll accuse you of not paying attention, or caring, or not caring like you used to, and–

“Orange is a bit like red,” says Gary.

But the suit’s very orange, and Gloria knows the goddamned difference between red and goddamned orange.

“It’s fine,” I say.

“Well, okay then. Sorry. I hope she likes it.”

“She will,” I lie.

Gary lovingly folds the suit along the slender lines that mark its seams. They won’t stay, the seams. Gary’s good about that. Once the suit is on, there’s never a seam in sight.

I make my way down Fourth. There’s a Santa Claus standing outside a department store, bobbing a rusty bell up and down like a character out of a bad Dickens adaptation. His skin is patchy, his flesh riddled with the cuts and stitches that come with too many re-skinnings.

A beautiful woman crosses his path and mine, and for a moment there’s a glow in his eyes of lust, or sadness, or of want. The beautiful woman turns and smiles, not at him, but at me, and I see that she, too, is full of stitches.

The woman drops the bag she’s carrying, stumbles as she tries to reach for it, and ends up in a heap in the road. I rush to her side, even as another, handsomer man in a green skin-suit stops to help her.

The man recoils when he sees the cheapness of her flesh. The mottled colour. As he moves off, I move in. I help her to her feet, peeking into the bag she dropped.

“It’s for my husband,” she says. She looks down at the ground, ashamed.

The suit is clearly secondhand.

“It’s all right,” I say. “I know a shop.”

“No. You don’t understand. I don’t have the money, and he–”

I notice for the first time the bruise on her cheek. I think of Gloria, and her yelling, and what she’ll do when she sees the orange suit.

The woman’s hand is worn, calloused. It’s been skinned before, then re-skinned. I lead her quietly toward Gary’s store.

I call Gloria and tell her to meet me at Gary’s shop. By then I’ve already slipped Gary a wad of bills, with a wink and a nod at the back room.

Gloria isn’t long. Gary tells her he has something in the back room. After half an hour he returns. The woman looks to Gary and then to me, questioning. I nod. I smile.

Gary and the woman are gone for some time. When Gary returns it’s not the woman with him anymore, but Gloria, blushing, touching her cheeks. There’s not a scratch on her. Not a stitch.

Gary’s good about that. Once the suit is on, there’s never a seam in sight.

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What I Like to Lie About

While drinking my beer last night and enjoying my usual evening wind-down routine I started to think (oh dear) about the public face we put on in terms of our activities and our interests.

At this point I’ve written who knows how many applications for programs and grants, queries to agents and contests, profiles for social media and dating websites, and at some point in at least one of each of those I’ve listed my hobbies.

It’s usually the same old list:

“I like reading, writing, drawing, academic-ing, cooking, attempting to knit and ending up in a yarn prison of my own construction.”

And all of that is true, absolutely. I do write. I do draw. I do construct yarn prisons.

BUT. What do I really do in my free time? It seems to me that the more honest answer would be substantially more long-winded and less inspiring. I do a lot more thinking about writing, thinking about cooking, and thinking about how I should get better at drawing and yarn prisons than I do actively engage in those pastimes.

So here, undoctored, is what I did last night. I think it gives an accurate picture of me and my strengths:

– Listened to “Which Witch” by Florence and the Machine five times in a row to warm me up for . . . something? One of the above activities.

– Checked my e-mail in case in the time I was listening to Florence and the Machine I got a response from the agent I queried this morning (because that happens, obviously. This is how these things work in my experience).

– Realized there was no music playing as I checked Query Tracker and put back on Florence.

– Remembered I hadn’t replied in my roleplay with my partner. Started to reply, realized music wasn’t playing, etc, etc.

– Discovered the bakery I like in Toronto supplies baked goods to a nearby grocery store and proceeded to rant in all caps on facebook about this.

– Decided I ought to listen to something other than “Which Witch”, because really, shouldn’t you diversify a bit? This is something important you need to do RIGHT NOW.

– Put on a different Florence and the Machine song.

– Felt accomplished.

– Remembered to be stressed out about global warming.

– Drank some beer and ate an only slightly terrible pancake.

– Realized I hadn’t watched that trailer I like from Scott Pilgrim in a while. Watched trailer.

– Watched trailer for pretty much every movie I’ve ever seen, even ones I didn’t like. Trailers are my milk and mead. This is, perhaps, my most honest interest.

– Having accomplished the listening to  of one different song and the watching of many trailers, decided this was a good end to the night and that I should write this blog post about my doings in the morning. I am a clever sort.

For future reference:

Steve Hugh Westenra is a comic shop manager, Religious Studies grad student, and spec-fic writer. He enjoys talking about what he’s going to write, “I don’t know, one day when I have the time,” listening to the same song on repeat for hours until he loses the desire to listen to it ever again for at least a year, re-watching movie trailers (less so movies), refreshing his e-mail obsessively, and lamenting the larger global problems that his OCD likes to bring up while using pen lids to clean his ears. He is adept at scratching is head, thinking about doing things, worrying that he types “haha” too much in his electronic communications, and deciding that somehow, in some way, he is responsible for all major crises occurring everywhere in the world at any given time. Also he likes animals.

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Hybrid Release

HYBRID (The Domino Project #2) goes out into the world today.

We’re celebrating with an excerpt reading, and a giveaway!

 

If you haven’t read CHAMELEON – it’s on sale until the end of 11/12/15 for $0.99

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K.T. Hanna reads an excerpt

Blurb

As Sai recovers from her life-threatening injuries, she struggles to piece together her damaged relationship with Dom. He fights the parasite within, suddenly freed from the interference of the other Dominos in his head.

Inside Central, Bastian’s Shine dosing has become a dangerous dance. Enhanced security protocols and endless meetings have him on a tightrope, with little room to move without revealing himself.

When the GNW release the Damascus to begin their systemic hunt of the Exiled, the noose closes around the rebels and their allies. If they can’t disable the threat, the Exiled won’t be the Damascus’ only agenda.

~

Praise for Chameleon – The Domino Project #1

“Wow! A fast-paced, science fiction delight with fabulous action, a seamless world, and the most unique characters I’ve read in a long time.”
Elana Johnson, Author of the Possession Series.

“Nikita-like post-apocolyptic novel with a heroine that would give Katniss a run for her money.”
Alina @ Unfazeable.com

Psionics is wicked cool and I wish a meteor would give me some super-secret powers. The logistics of the abilities are many, and normally would have been a nightmare to follow. Hanna handles it with enough subtle description laced through the opening chapters that you’re able to grasp their powers naturally.
Heather @ Aussie Owned and Read

A seriously great sci-fi. Dark, edgy and complex. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s a gripping read because of the author’s tense voice; the characters are well defined, believable and likeable, despite all of their flaws; the story flows well; and the ending leaves you on edge to read more. If you like sci-fi, you will love this book.
Kate Foster – Author of Winell Road

HYBRID is available at the following retailers

AMAZON | INDIEBOUND

Watermark Books – Signed Copies!

Celebrate HYBRID’s release with us!

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

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