Sunday, 28 February 2021

Wolf Moon is here!

It’s the publication day for Wolf Moon, Two-Natured London 7. My paranormal romance series featuring wolf-shifters and vampire warriors of London has progressed slowly but steadily since the first book, The Wolf’s Call, came out in 2012. There are currently seven longer books, two in-between romances, and one collection of Christmas themed short stories.

Wolf Moon by Susanna Shore

Wolf Moon is about Jamie Green, the alpha of the Greenwood clan, who was first introduced in The Wolf’s Call, the romance between his brother Rafe and Charlotte, a human lawyer, and who also featured in A Warriorfor the Wolf, the romance between his daughter Harriet and Zach, the vampire warrior. Jamie is a tragic character in a way, as his wolf has bound him to a human woman who’s divorced him decades ago, preventing him from finding new love. The book opens with the ex-wife suddenly dying and freeing him.

Jamie’s counterpart is Isla Shaw who was briefly introduced in Magic on the Highland Moor. She’s the beta of Shaw clan in Scotland. Her mate and child have died in the First World War a century ago, but she hasn’t felt the need to find new love. The death of her father, the clan alpha, plunges her life into disarray and forces her to seek a way out. Enter Jamie.

I like Jamie’s and Isla’s romance. It is—like my editor put it—a mature romance between two people who have hurt in the past but who aren’t broken by it anymore. Love takes them by surprise, but they are willing to fight for this sudden chance for happily ever after. The book can be read as stand-alone, but you’ll enjoy it much more if you’re familiar with the characters and goings on of the series in whole.

You can read the first two chapters on my webpage, and you can purchase the book on Amazon, iBooks, B&N, Kobo and Smashwords. Happy reading!

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Interpretations and adaptations

We’ve been binge watching The Magicians over the weekend with my husband. I’d like to say I’m late to the party, but the truth is, I never intended to watch it. That’s because I found the book by Lev Grossman the series is based on frustrating and irritating. Imagine my surprise, then, that I kind of like the show. Not enough to give it my full attention—I’m writing this blog post while it runs on the background—but enough to keep watching.

One of the reasons I disliked the book The Magicians was because I didn’t like any of the characters. I found them selfish and annoying, and I didn’t care if they lived or died. And I couldn’t understand Quentin’s obsession with Fillory, the magical land he’s read about in a book. The story was oddly paced, with utterly unnecessary sections that took forever, and jumps in time and to secondary characters that didn’t make any sense. By the time the characters reached Fillory, I stopped reading.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

The TV series is different. Much more time is given to secondary characters, with proper storylines of their own. Different aspects of magic and interpretations of the world are given equal time. The characters all seem better fleshed out. Unnecessary sections—like the characters spending months as geese—are skipped. Don’t get me wrong; I still find the characters selfish and annoying most of the time. But the way they are portrayed by the actors makes them easier to stomach. Quentin is less annoying when he is just one character among many.

Scriptwriters of TV series have the benefit of several books to draw from when they adapt it. They already know what plotlines are important and what aren’t and they can choose accordingly what to show. They don’t have to wait for a character’s storyline to unfold; they can start introducing it from the start. They can pace the story better to keep the viewers’ interest. And they can make their own interpretations. The Magicians definitely benefits from that.

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

We watched The Bridgertons over the holidays like the rest of the world. It’s another great adaptation of a long series that is very different from the original. Romantic fiction tends to follow a formula where only one couple is in focus in one book. Secondary characters are introduced, but they aren’t fleshed out until in their own books. Again, the scriptwriters had the advantage of knowing all the characters’ stories already, and could make use of them from the start. The result is much more layered and nuanced than in the books. I’ve read most of them, and while I liked them, I liked the TV series more.

The adage is that a book is always better than its adaptation. But not all books have enough substance to be adapted into hours of entertainment. More is needed. Occasionally the adapters make their own additions that aren’t necessarily accepted by the fans—The Hobbit movies come to mind—but with Bridgertons, for example, there hasn’t been a similar backlash. All the elements and their interpretations are there in the books. They’re just being introduced in a different pace. The adaptation is something new, and sometimes even better.

How about you? Is the original always better than the adaptation or is there room for interpretations?

 

Monday, 21 December 2020

Reflections on a plague year

Worry not, there’s no illness on my house or any of my family. In fact, the difficult year has been easy on me. Partly it’s because I live in Finland where the Covid situation has been relatively painless (there has been no lockdowns, for example, and we had a proper holiday, if isolated), and partly it’s because I’m reclusive by nature and haven’t found the restrictions on my life overly straining.

The situation has had some impact on my life, of course, though minor. I had to relinquish my study to my husband when he started working from home, as he makes a lot of conference calls and needs privacy. But the move to living room was good for me. I got a new desk, because the old one didn’t fit there, which turned out to be ergonomically better. My back pain hasn’t acted up since. And the change of scenery (a view from a different window) cheered me up. So far, spending all day, every day with my husband hasn’t put a strain on us. And as an added bonus, without a long daily commute, he’s been less tired.


However, just so working from home wouldn’t be too easy, there was a six month long fa├žade renovation in our block of flats, which was noisy to say the least and included three months spent inside a plastic tent. But it’s over now and, in hindsight, went by fairly painlessly.


Professionally, the year has been good for me. I’m still far from making a living with my writing, but for the first time in three years, I’ll end up on black. This even after extra expenses, like spending more on advertising after Amazon started adding 24% VAT on it, and purchasing a new domain name after I changed all my social media under Susanna Shore. You can read more about it here.

My biggest success this year was P.I. Tracy Hayes series of cosy mysteries. It did especially well on Amazon, whereas the Two-Natured London paranormal romance series was more popular among the readers on iBooks. Both series had a new book published this year.


In April, I published Magic on the Highland Moor, Two-Natured London 6.5. It’s a shorter, in-between romance that bridges Crimson Warrior (TNL 6) and Wolf Moon (TNL 7), with characters and storylines in common in all three. And in July, I published Tracy Hayes, Valentine of a P.I., which is book seven in the series and sees, among other things, Tracy and Jackson trying to spend a Valentine’s Day together. I also published a new bundle edition called Starters, which combines four of my first books as a sample of my writing.


I also finished writing two books that will come out next year. Wolf Moon comes out in February, and Hexing the Ex, a start of a new paranormal mystery series, will come out in June. And I wrote two other books that I haven’t had time to finish, both completely different from what I usually write. Even though they remain incompletefor nowwriting them refreshed me, so I don’t consider them waste of time.

My other writing activities include two blogs, though this one didn’t see much action the entire year. I’ve only posted four times, not including this one, mostly because I didn’t seem to have energy for it. In contrast, my reading blog has been very active. I joined NetGalley in July, a site where one can request early review copies in exchange for reviews, and I’ve tried to diligently review everything I’ve been given. It’s been fun and educational. I have twenty or so books already lined up for the next year, so that’ll continue strong. I’ve also sent three newsletters this year; not much, but at least it’s a low commitment for the subscribers. You can join here.


In addition to writing, my publishing related activities included brushing up the covers of the Two-Natured London series. I’m not technically very skilled, but I’m happy with the results. And I can always redo them when my skills have improved. I like working on book covers; it refreshes my mind when writing gets stuck. I made several other covers too, for three different series that’ll see light in two or three years’ time.

I think that sums up my year. All in all, it was pretty good and hassle free, even if it was mostly spent cooped up at home. I hope that you’ve got through the year with good health too, and that the next year will be better for us all.



Monday, 14 December 2020

More new covers

As I promised last week, here are the new covers for Two-Natured London series. The changes aren’t drastic, but I found them necessary. Even though I’ve redesigned the covers regularly over the years, the title fonts were different sizes and not always aligned from book to book after the latest tweaking. That’s mostly because I’d wanted to have the titles of each main book with only one font, and some have longer titles than others. I gave up on that in this redesign and put a preposition here and there with a different font. I think it works better now.

Last week I revealed the new cover for Moonlight, Magic and Mistletoes (currently on sale), but I’ve since made some changes for that one too. The background was originally completely white, but I found that it was too different from the rest of the series, so I added a moon and some colour to it. It’s still snowy, but now it doesn’t stand out too much.



And finally, the cover of the upcoming Wolf Moon—although I’ve revealed it before too. It didn’t change much; the shade of red in the font and T-shirt mostly. If you’re interested, sample chapters are now up on my webpage.

For those curious about how many books there will be in the Two-Natured London series, I’ve already made covers for books 7.5, 8, 8.5, and 9. There will be books number 9.5 and 10 too, but those don’t have covers yet. And you’ll just have to wait for them to be revealed in due time too.

What do you think of the current covers? Let me know.

In other news: Smashwords is having End of Year Sale starting from December 18th. My Two-Natured London books will be discounted, as will be some other books, and Starters, an introductory bundle of my first books will be free. So don’t miss the opportunity.

 

Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Christmas sale (and a new cover)

It’s December, and so Moonlight, Magic and Mistletoes, Two-Natured London 5.6 is on sale. It’s only $0.99 (or the equivalent in your currency) until Christmas. Don’t miss the opportunity.

The book is a collection of Christmas themed short stories set in my Two-Natured London paranormal romance world. There are six stories in total, with both new characters and those you’ve met in the first five and a half books. All take place during Christmas and most have romance in them.

The first story, Escape on a Moonless Night, is a longer one. It’s set in the 1660s France and features Alexander Hamilton and his son Gabriel, the vampire warriors of the Crimson Circle. It tells the story of how Alexander met the mother of his second son, Zacharias. It’s an exciting story of a daring escape and falling in love.

The Christmas Miracle is about Tom and Laura, and Tom’s Clydesdale Amanda who is in a desperate need of a miracle. They are both new characters, but Tom is the brother of Gemma from A Wolf of Her Ownthe one who is on his honeymoon…

Wintry Fairytale features Jack Thornton, Charly’s brother, introduced in The Wolf’s Call. His loveable Newfoundland Bob is responsible for bringing unexpected love to his life. It’s also a story of accepting a new future as a two-natured.

In Enchanted Evening, the main characters are humans working for the Crimson Circle. Amy and Theo inspire the vampire warriors to organise a huge Christmas party for the staff, and love blooms.

The next story, Magical Christmas, gives us a glimpse to the life of the couple that formed in Magic under the Witching Moon. Adrian and Raven are planning their first Christmas together and it’s not as easy as one might hope.

Finally, in Christmas at the Greenwood Manor, the wolf cub Vincent we’ve met in A Wolf of Her Own, gets Jamie, the clan alpha to organise a Christmas party for the wolf-shifter clan. There’s an unexpected gift for Vincentand a surprise for Rafe and Charly too.

If you’re in a mood for sweet, romantic Christmas stories with a paranormal twist, this book is for you. And it’s a good preparation for Wolf Moon too, as some revelations play a small role there.

And as promised, the new cover. It’s more winter themed than the original, and definitely more light-hearted than the other covers in the series. But I find it wonderfully romantic.

Moonlight, Magic and Mistletoes

Other books in the Two-Natured London series have had their covers brushed up a little too. I’ll share those in the next post—although you can already catch them on my webpage.

You can purchase Moonlight, Magic and Mistletoes on Amazon, iBooks, B&N, Kobo and Smashwords, and read a sample chapter on my webpage.

 

Monday, 2 November 2020

The wolves are back!

It’s time to announce the next Two-Natured London book! The wolves of the Greenwood clan will finally return after two books about vampires: Crimson Warrior, which features Gabriel Hamilton, and Magic on the Highland Moor, with Nicholas Fortier, both vampire warriors of the Crimson Circle. And the two books before these, Magic under the Witching Moon, about humans and witches, and Moonlight, Magic and Mistletoes, a collection of Christmas stories, had hardly any wolves either. I love my vampires, but now it’s time to bring back the wolves.

The next Two-Natured London book is number sevententh overall if you count the shorter in-between books, which you should definitely read too. It’s called … drumroll … Wolf Moon. It’s about Jamie Green, the alpha of the Greenwood clan we’ve met a couple of times before, and Isla Shaw who was briefly introduced in the previous book. Theirs isn’t an easy love story, as both have suffered losses that have made them reluctant to embrace new romance. But if anyone deserves a happily ever after, it’s those two.

Here’s the cover:


And here’s the blurb:

Jamie Green, the alpha of the Greenwood wolf-shifter clan, has come to accept that the mate his wolf chose for him has left him for another. But while the man has moved on, the wolf hasn’t. Then she unexpectedly dies, freeing the man and the wolf both. And now neither of them knows how to go on with their life.

Isla Shaw has secluded herself among her birth clan in Scotland to recover from the loss of her mate and son a century ago. But the death of the clan alpha has plunged her safe haven into chaos of a leadership contest. She needs a way out, but she has nowhere to gountil Jamie offers her a helping hand.

Jamie isn’t quite sure why he’s invited Isla to London. It’s not like his wolf has taken interest in her, even if the man finds himself drawn to a woman for the first time in a very long time. For Isla, the return to where she has been the happiest and the saddest is bittersweet, but it’s time for her to face the ghosts of her pastwith Jamie by her side.

But London isn’t safe either. The evil enemy that has attacked both their clans before has a new target: the clan of Isla’s past. If Jamie and Isla can’t save them, the shifters in London will all fall. But the price for the safety may be too deep: their future happiness.

As the clan prepares for a battle, Jamie has to be the alpha, not the man. But what’s the point in fighting, if he doesn’t have Isla to fight for?

***

The book will come out at the end of February 2021. Preorder links will update on my webpage the moment I have them. Stay tuned.

If you’re new to the Two-Natured London paranormal romance series, you should start with The Wolf’s Call. It’s available for free.

If you’d like to read more blog posts by me, I’ve been mostly on my reading blog this year, publishing my book reviews there. Check them out at Susanna Reads. And as always, you can find more about my books and latest news on my webpage

 

Monday, 2 March 2020

Ch… ch… changes

Here’s a short post to inform you all that I’ve made some changes to my online presence. Nothing drastic, worry not. I have simply unified my accounts and I’m now everywhere as Susanna Shore.

When I first began as an indie author, I had two pennames, and I believed I needed online presence that covered them both. I chose Crimson House Books (from the Crimson Circle in my Two-Natured London books), and created a web domain and social media accounts accordingly. The address of this blog is the last trace of that.


However, a couple of years ago, I gave up my other penname and republished everything as Susanna Shore. That made the old account names with Crimson House Books as their root obsolete and misleading too. Every new account that I’ve created since then are for Susanna Shore, but the first two, my web domain and my Twitter username, have remained.

Not anymore. From now on, my webpage has a new domain name susannashore.com and my twitter username is @SusannaShore.


These changes don’t require any action on your part. If you follow me on Twitter, the account is as it has always been, only with a new username. I’ve also reclaimed the old username @crimsonhouseboo, so if you accidentally use it, you won’t be communicating with a stranger. But I’m not actively using that account, so I won’t answer your tweets there. The old webpages also coexist with the new, so if you have permanent links to my books, they should still work.

I’ve tried to update every page where I have social media information, but I have likely missed one or two. This blog will retain its old name, as changing it is a tad difficult. Also, I have another blog with Susanna Shore in its name, and I can’t really have two. Social media banners with the old web address still wait updating. And I haven’t even begun to update my books yet. There are currently twenty-four separate publications, so it’ll take a while before all of them have been updated.

Until then, please come find me on Twitter where I mostly hang out. And stay tuned for an announcement of an upcoming publication.