Mindy Klasky returns to her fantasy genre roots -- Rebel Flight is in stores now!
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Dear Friends -

Way back in the year 2000, long before Virtual Cocktails was a thing, I released my very first book, a fantasy novel. At the time, I thought I'd only write fantasy; I couldn't imagine coming up with stories in any other genres.

Then came Jane Madison. And the Diamond Brides. And a lot of other books... And so several years have passed since I published a new fantasy novel.

But all of that changes this month! So, without further delay...
Ingredient One: Rebel Flight in stores today!

Rebel Flight, a traditional fantasy novel, comes to you by way of a few twists and turns. Until last month, it was going to have an entirely different name! You can read about Rebel Flight's name change (and my decision not to go toe-to-toe with the might empire that is Disney!) here.

Even earlier, Rebel Flight was released by Simon & Schuster under (yet another) different name, for a very specific reading audience. You can read about that name change here.

Bottom line: Several years ago, amazing author and editor Julie Czerneda asked me to write for her anthology, Fantastic Companions. The result was my short story about a raven named Caw and the girl who loved him. ("The Darkbeast" is now exclusively available to Virtual Cocktails subscribers in a set of four free books. Have you downloaded yours?)

Caw's story, though, wouldn't let me rest. Ultimately, I tweaked the setting and the worldbuilding, expanding the story dramatically to launch the Darkbeast Chronicles. While the original edition was marketed to younger readers, I never "wrote down" to my audience. Similar to my Glasswrights Series of fantasy novels for adults, the Darkbeast Chronicles tell the story of a young heroine making adult choices in a complex, challenging world.

You can get an idea of what I mean from the "back of the book" blurb:

In the sheltered village of Silver Hollow, Keara knows exactly what is expected of her: Worship the twelve gods, pay the Primate his head tax, and follow her mother’s unreasonably strict rules. But Keara’s twelfth birthday is looming, along with an obligation she dares not meet. Keara must sacrifice her darkbeast on a holy altar or be branded a heretic forever.

Other children despise their bonded scapegoat animals. But Keara loves her raven, Caw. He’s the only creature in Silver Hollow who truly understands her headstrong ways.

When a traveling theater troupe passes through the village, Keara glimpses a way to escape. But the Great Road comes with its own dangers, including dread Inquisitor priests who hunt down infidels.

Will Keara find the strength to flee the only home she’s ever known? Or will she be forced to slay her closest friend on the altar of the gods?

* * *

Publishers Weekly said "[Rebel Flight] is a well-wrought tale that finds that difficult balance between accessibility and depth."  Kirkus Reviews said the book is "tightly woven and carefully constructed fantasy."

But don't take their word for it. You can read the first chapter for free here. And you can buy your own ebook from any of these vendors! (Print copies will be available shortly.)

Buy your copy today!


Ingredient Two:  Keara's Story Continues!

After making my readers wait several years for a new fantasy novel, I'm determined to feed their interest sooner, rather than later! The second book in the Darkbeast Chronicles, Rebel Lost, will be in stores on March 28. But you can pre-order your copy now!

Here's what Rebel Lost is all about:

Keara is running for her life. On her twelfth birthday, she was supposed to sacrifice her magical darkbeast raven on a holy altar. Instead, she spared Caw's life. Now, the priestly Inquisitors have declared her Lost—a heretic and traitor to the Primate and all twelve gods.

Desperately seeking safety, Keara and Caw travel the Great Road with two other infidels. Together they search for a rumored community of Darkers, rebellious Lost who live beyond the reach of the law.

Winter winds blow hard. Inquisitors stalk the Great Road.  Keara and her companions, near-frozen by a blizzard and close to starvation, discover an underground encampment of strangers. They’re offered food and shelter, and their darkbeasts are welcome. But are these folk truly the Darkers they claim to be? Or will they betray Keara to the authorities who want to enslave her—or worse?
* * *

Pre-order your ebook today:

google_play ibooks kindle kobo nook

Ingredient Three:  A Glimpse of Paradise

No writer can sit at her computer all day, every day, creating new stories. Sometimes, we have to get out to the real world to recharge our authorial batteries. I enjoyed just that type of recharging last week, when I vacationed in Hawai'i with my family.

My favorite part of the trip (aside from catching up with relatives!) was snorkeling in Hanauma Bay. I don't have a pic of the moray eel I discovered in the coral reef, but here's a bird's-eye view of paradise!

And yes, I did come home with ideas for a few new stories! I'm kicking the tires on a mystery, set on O'ahu...

Ingredient Four: Spring Training is Here!

Major League Baseball's spring training started a couple of weeks ago, and I can't wait to get back to Nationals Stadium. (I'm also very excited to share new covers for all the Diamond Brides books, along with a special newsletter exclusive deal -- but that will have to wait until after Opening Day, on April 3!)

Of course, the Raleigh Rockets aren't the only baseball team in the contemporary romance world. Check out The Change Up, from my friend, Elley Arden. It's FREE for a limited time! Here's the pitch:

Commercial real estate mogul Rachel Reed followed her workaholic father's footsteps to success, so when he's diagnosed with Alzheimer's, she vows to rise to the occasion. She'll help her father get the Arlington Aces independent professional baseball team up and running, then sell the franchise off to recoup their investment. It's a tall order, but Rachel knows one thing for sure: a few acres of trees aren't going to stand in her way of building the facility they need.

Landscaper Sam Sutter is surprised to find his brother's high school girlfriend lurking in the woods behind his secluded log house. This former minor leaguer's even more upset to learn "his" trees are on her chopping block. There's no way he'll help her erect a painful reminder to his failed career in his backyard. But butting heads with the beautiful businesswoman proves to be a tricky task, and before long, he finds himself heading up the grounds keeping crew at her father's stadium.

Working under Rachel's watchful -- smoldering -- eyes might be Sam's undoing. Can he cut into her plans without felling their chances at a home run in love?

If the link in the image doesn't work for you, click here to download your FREE copy of The Change Up!
Ingredient Five: Magic & Mayhem, Kindle World Style

And while I'm talking about other authors' books that my readers might love...

Are you a fan of Jane Madison? How about the Fright Court Series?

Have you read Robyn Peterman's Magic & Mayhem books? Robyn has lent her magical universe to Kindle World. That means other authors can get in on the fun, writing their own Magic & Mayhem stories. And I'm lucky enough to be one of those other authors!  In October, I'll be writing my very own Magic & Mayhem tale! Of course, you -- a Virtual Cocktails reader -- will be the first to learn the title... in a few months!

In the meantime, you can sample all the existing Magic & Mayhem titles for free, through the magic of Instafreebie! If clicking on the image doesn't work for any reason, click here to download your Magic & Mayhem Kindle World Sneak Peek!
Well, that's another edition of Virtual Cocktails! What did you like about this month's news? What do you want me to include in future newsletters? Drop me a line by email, or stop by Facebook or Twitter and let me know what you're thinking!

As always, feel free to share this newsletter with anyone who might be interested.  Keep in touch!

Best wishes --

Read Later
Copyright © 2017 Mindy Klasky, All rights reserved.

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