One week and counting!

small cover 3 iconIt’s Labor Day in the US and also 7 days to the release of The Knife of Narcissus Book 3. There will be at least a couple of reviews on release day from some of my favourite bloggers, including 3 Chicks After Dark, and a guest post on Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews about Roman cookery. So pull up a plate for a helping of jellied turtle eggs, fermented fish sauce, and asafoetida (aka “devil’s dung”)…plus a recipe for grape-sweetened cookies :)

I’ve given myself a writing challenge for the week after the book release: I’ll share some of my other favourite Roman recipes every day in 140 characters or less @carolynechand. I have no idea if I can do this. Let’s find out!

KoN3 coverStay tuned for info about guest posts, giveaways, and for links to reviewers’ reactions to the third part in the serial! There will be cookies.

(a little spoilery if you haven’t read the first two books yet)

Lucius Sentius had always assumed the debauched and corrupt days of Nero were over. He was wrong. Being celibate and sober may be good for the reputation, but it’s a dead-end path for an ambitious young Roman hoping to rise to wealth and power in the city.

His friendship with the man he loves has been broken by the flare of passion between them, his wife has a better command of his household than he does, and gossip around the city about his hedonistic lifestyle is growing faster than any actual wantonness. When his new brother-in-law hires him to take on a mysterious task for a powerful, unidentified patron that requires someone willing to set aside all scruples, Lucius throws himself into a chance to prove his worth.

It’s enough to make a man turn to the gods for help. The one goddess who seems to listen—to the right sort of worship—is Venus….

Cover design

Even though the sequel novella, Saturnalia, will be included as part of Book 7 of the serial and not on its own for now, I want it to have its own cover.

I’m happy with how the design has turned out, though I’m sure it will be fussed with and tweaked before Book 7’s November release date. It’s a little too early to do a cover reveal, but here’s a random bit of a glimpse:

Saturnalia peek

(If you’ve read some of the story, you’ll guess that this is neither Lucius nor Trio.)

I’m enjoying that intense dark-eyed gaze. Once the cover is final, I’ll show more than the upper right corner!


Here are some hot-off-the-presses reviews for KoN—a great way to start off! And be sure to check out the other reviews on these sites too.

“Romans, debauchery, sex slaves, arranged marriage, politics, and unrequited love. This book had all the elements that made it a winner for me, one of my favourite time periods and an M/M romance. Totally enthralling.”—Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews (review plus guest post)

“…a wonderful job of painting vivid pictures of the clothes, houses, streets and everyday life in the city. It’s mesmerizing and intriguing. …RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!”—3 Chicks After Dark

“…feels much more akin to an epic saga rather than a serial. …If you’re a fan of Ancient Rome, this series should appeal to you.”—Boy Meets Boy Reviews

3 days and counting

MandWIt’s been a little hard to get completely excited today about the upcoming release date for The Knife of Narcissus Parts 1-2. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been caring for an ill pet, and, honestly, things look pretty bad today. Just when I’m gearing up to enjoy being a self-published M/M Romance author, it’s almost a certainty I’ll be closing the cover on a huge era of my life.

Seventeen years ago I had just moved to a new city, planning to go to grad school, had a perfect housemate who loved all the same crazy things I did, and I had all sorts of plans. (I was absolutely going to decorate the house Roman style…saner heads prevailed.) I didn’t pick out the funny-looking tiny tortoiseshell kitten–she wasn’t even, technically, my cat–though I did carry her home in my lap, curled up in my baseball cap, on a long ride back from (what I sketchily remember as) a farm in the middle of nowhere. But I inherited her later when my housemate moved out of state and this cat absolutely did not get along with my housemate’s big tom.

M2The cat I inherited was smart, daring, a little wild, would rather be outdoors than indoors, left me gifts of the choicest half of multiple geckos, insisted on going on walks with the dog (and complained loudly if we walked too fast for her), was always talkative, and fierce. All through the long process of creating The Knife of Narcissus, she batted at my hands while I wrote (because I must be wiggling my fingers around as a game, right?) and tried to get my attention by lying on the keyboard or pushing the laptop off her previously assigned human parking space. In these later years she changed from cranky, independent beastie to cuddler. She always ran to meet me at the door. When she stopped doing that a couple of weeks ago, I knew something was wrong, and it’s scary how quickly she’s gone from vivacious to completely sapped of energy.

It’s not like she can sit and reminisce with me about the other pets who have come and gone and the times we’ve shared, but it has always been nice to think that, somewhere in that cat-size memory, she knew all the things we’ve been through together. It’s just too hard celebrate the big pub date when it’s so unlikely she’ll still be here. I’m a grownup, I’ve lost pets before….Never gets easy, though, does it?

Obligatory cat photos included. She’s a funny-looking cat, and I’ll miss seeing her funny-looking face.

Have a looksee!

Mark Wills at Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews was kind enough to invite me to write a guest post to go along with his review and the giveaway for Parts 1-2. For this installment, I talk about why I wrote the story as a serial.

Over the next couple of months I’ll get to guest-post about other topics too–because haven’t you always wanted to know what’s under a toga and how to bake ancient Roman cookies? (They’re very tasty…the cookies, I mean, of course…)

Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews reviews Knife of Narcissus 1-2

I’m thrilled to announce an upcoming review, guest post, and GIVEAWAY on the Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews site on August 21! With each installment of the serial, I’ve been invited to talk about writing the story and to share some of the weirder facts about ancient life that I’ve discovered along the way—and also of course there will be giveaways of each book. Please join me there!


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