Yay, Raven finally got this newsletter out! Some heartbreak. Updates on the next to be published books.

Yes, I know how belated this newsletter is… 🙄

I wrote 90% of a newsletter weeks ago, on my phone, and the document got lost and I didn’t have the heart or energy to redo it until now.

However, this is a very different newsletter than that one. Most of you know that my books are dedicated to my coauthor, my beloved dog Cairngorm McWomble the Terrible.

Cairngorm co-authoring like a champ on my writing retreat in March of this year

On November 19th he crossed the rainbow bridge.

His seizures started in early October. After that first terrible day, I spent most of October either in the emergency veterinary hospital, or holding Cairngorm through long nights of seizures which were happening every fifteen minutes. After ultrasounds and an MRI and a thousand other tests, they still had no idea what was actually causing the “neurologic events” but put him on an anti-seizure medication. The dosage had to be upped after a week, but for a couple weeks, it seemed like everything was stable. Then it wasn’t, and the meds needed to be upped again.

But by this time my poor little five pound boy was on just a massive amount of medications, including the anti-seizure ones, and what probably happened at this point was that his liver (which had been dodgy all his life) couldn’t cope with all of it. He stopped wanting to go for walks, which had been his absolute favorite thing all his life. About a week later, he told me he was ready to be done with the six-times-a-day medication schedule and leave his failing little body behind.

A wonderful vet who specializes in at-home euthanasia came to us, and his passing was less a death and more a floating away in a painless ocean of love and adoration.

I, the one remaining, am not OK. You could charitably call me a “complete and total wreck.”

Anyway, I’m supposed to be continuing on with life, and that involves heading into the season in which most indie writers sell most of their books and make the most profit for the year. Indie writers count on Black Friday and the rest of the holiday season to ensure their businesses make a profit, or at least break even.

And I can barely focus on marketing or promotional plans. So that’s all very optimal.

To that end, if you have friends or family who would enjoy the Blood & Ancient Scrolls series, I have a deal going on the website, where you can get all three of the freshly re-released books for a handsome discount, with free shipping and all! If you leave a note requesting it, I will also wrap all the books for you by hand! So you could just order the books to be delivered directly to your loved one, and be done and dusted with that item on your do-to list!

This is an old cover, obvs, but I would be delighted to wrap up your order for you just like this 🎁 

This is basically the best offer for anything you’ll see, this holiday season. So let me help you get your holiday shopping list crossed off! (And you won’t just be helping my lil indie business in return, but I actually really enjoy wrapping gifts, so you’ll be giving me healthy grief-displacement activities, as well.)

My name’s Raven Belasco, and I’m a dark fantasy writer. These newsletters are about my work and that #authorlife. Updates out bimonthly to subscribers. Feel free to send your friends to my Beehiiv, where they can read the most recent letters and subscribe.

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Right. Well, I had to try and do some promotional stuff, so that’s done, and I hope the offer is useful to you. But I know you’re also here for updates on upcoming books, and happily I have news for you 📰

My little co-author took his job very seriously, and I had one novella unfinished. So on his penultimate day, he lay beside me and helped me hit “The End” on that story. He basically let me know I had to get it done on his schedule.

Our last time writing together 💔

So that means the third story is done for the collection of three novellas that will be published in … drumroll pleaseBlood Triad in May 2024. It’s a simple name, but I’m pretty pleased with how perfect it is. 🤩 It still needs to get out to the editor, of course, but I love this part of the process, editing the story up to a high gloss. I’ll be trying out a new cover artist for this book, and am waiting with much anticipation to see the rough draft for that.

A reminder, Blood Triad will be comprised of the story about Astryiah (Abyssinia), Zoraida (Teeth Are Bones), and the glorious bromance of Dubhghall and Wulfhram (the just-completed Blood Brothers). I’m pretty happy about the spread of characters through time and the world: Astryiah is from Roman-era Judea and the story is set in the 1930s in Philadelphia, Zoraida is from Haiti in the early 1900s, telling the story of how she became am’r to Noosh in current times, and Dubhghall & Wulfhram became am’r in the 900s and are also telling their origin stories (which include ending up in the Khazar Khaganate, like you do) to our favorite archivist for the am’r. (Both of those stories set after the end of Blood Ad Infinitum.) Having diverse am’r is really important to me, and I think this collection demonstrates that my am’r will never be a boringly homogenous buncha bloodsuckers.

Once that gets into production, that will leave me free to finally get back to writing Book IV in the series, the vampire pirates, which is what everyone wants most of all, I know! I never thought it would take so long to get to this place, but I’m so glad that I can get back to being a writer-who-writes, and not a writer-who-is-just-trying-to-build-a-small-business.

I think that’s enough from me, today. I will try to actually hit the “every two weeks” mark from now on. I never wrote about the new covers, and I really want to talk about those in the next newsletter, because they are amazing.

I hope your holiday season goes smoothly and unstressfully!

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