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It’s been a while since I’ve updated–November was a crazy month! Now December has rolled in and we’re at the one week—well, 6-day—countdown to the release of the all-in-one version of The Knife of Narcissus. I hope the collected edition will entice a few new readers to try the story!

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The Knife of Narcissus Omnibus (all 7 parts) will release in a month, on December 9!

For anyone who wants it all in one chunk, here it is–and it’s a big chunk: 150,000 words.

The tentative cover (there may be a redesign):

KoN Omnibus cover

In other news, I’m at work on this year’s NaNoWrimo, but it’s slow going. This year’s challenge: gladiators.

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It’s about two days to the release of the seventh and final part of The Knife of Narcissus on Monday, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the readers and reviewers who have been following the saga feel about the whole thing—both about the resolution for our heroes, and about the experience of reading the story in installments. Boy Meets Boy Reviews has some thoughts already.

One thing a reader might wonder about here at the end of Lucius and Trio’s tale is: why send a story out into the world as a serial, if the entire thing will be available eventually in one volume? I go back to my thoughts about serials in the guest post on Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews way back in August when this all began:

Some tales can be limericks. Some can be the epic of Gilgamesh. Ebooks also make it easy to send installments to readers—no more hanging around on the docks waiting to grab the latest chapter of David Copperfield. Which is great for the way I write. When I saw other romance writers using the serial format, it was as if someone had unlocked a door and said it’s all right to step through too.

At a workshop an awfully long time ago, the main critique for the story I brought was that, instead of following a traditional three-act structure, readers counted four, five, six, seven acts…and the story wasn’t even finished. It wanted to be nine acts. Maybe eleven. It wasn’t sure. I stuck it in a trunk and shut the lid so I wouldn’t have to hear it complain anymore. It took years of struggling against my instincts to realise that what I was writing were episodes in a story of many parts that didn’t easily fit the classic structure….

In all, it’s been an interesting experience to publish a serial, and I’ll have much more to say about it after I’ve had a chance to absorb and reflect. The novel I’m working on now won’t, I suspect, be published in parts. It’s more compact, a more tidy narrative. It is, however, also set in ancient Rome, because I cannot get enough of the place. And there’s more to tell about Lucius’s world.

Did I say above that this the end of Lucius and Trio’s story? I misspoke.

Alas, there will be no gladiators.

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The Knife of Narcissus part 7 releases next Monday. It’s been a busy two weeks here at the imperial villa (well, the very small house with big aspirations), so there hasn’t been a chance for many updates here on the site. But look for more this weekend.

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The Knife of Narcissus part 6 releases next Monday and will be available at all the usual places. Once again there will be a guest post, review, and giveaway at Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews.

This installment’s guest post is on Roman Emperors—the crazy kind. (Yes, there were non-crazy ones, too, but it was hard to find them in the crowd of complete nutters.)

Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews - KoN 6

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Knife of Narcissus 65 days to the release of The Knife of Narcissus 6!

I’m pretty excited about this part of the serial and where it takes our heroes in their long summer journey (and let’s not forget the heroines).

Stand by for information about giveaways and guest posts!

An excerpt

(could be spoilery if you haven’t read through part 5):
(more…)

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KoN4coverThe Knife of Narcissus part 4 releases on Monday, and will be available at all the usual places. I’ll be celebrating by making another ancient dish, my favourite Roman main course, Casserole à la Apicius. It goes well with the Apricot Stew side dish. I’m hoping it will also go well with Dogfish Head Brewery’s Ancient Ales. Here’s the recipe in 140:

The sauce: crush celery seed, oregano, mint, ginger, coriander, raisins, honey, vinegar, oil, wine. And…this one is going to take 280.

The rest: In a clay baking dish put down layers of bread, cooked chicken breasts, pine nuts, diced onion, sharp cheese, sauce. Cover & bake.

On Monday evening, I’ll post the expanded version of how the recipe turns out this time around, with pics.

Meanwhile, The Novel Approach has given Parts 1-2 an in-depth—and flattering—review:

“A wonderfully written historical gay romance, the first two books hitting the ground running as they introduce us to a world that’s both colorful and sensual in more ways than one….”

Please click on over and visit the site to see the whole review, and, of course, check out the other reviews to find other interesting books.

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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.

Description
(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….

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As of today, it’s a 7-day countdown to the publication date for book 1 of The Knife of Narcissus. Stand by for news, giveaways, and links to reviews!

Am I nervous about potential reviews? Yes, absolutely! But my hope is that even a negative review will give me something to mull over, things to improve…and maybe I just won’t agree with the reviewer’s assessment, and that’s OK too. Moreover, sometimes even a negative review will give specific readers a reason to read a book. For example: take an Amazon review that says something like, “I thought this would be a sweet Regency romance, but it turned out to be full of men being non-stop naughty with each other!” (Send me the sampler for that book forthwith.)

And in the meanwhile, what’s next? I’m at work on the sequel novella, currently titled Saturnalia; the “Sherlock Rome” mystery; and a couple of non-romance projects. And some articles for a review website. Staying busy is great for keeping the creative energy building.

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Wouldn’t be able post to Smashwords, AllRomance eBooks, and (eventually) Amazon and Barnes & Noble without ’em. Here’s the full set, except for whatever will be on the all-in-one edition, which is still being tweaked.

KoNallcovers_200x300

 

The model is courtesy of Shutterstock and some Photoshopping to give him a rounder face. At first I wasn’t sold on him as the face-of-Lucius, but suddenly it all just snapped into place, with the faux-fresco background and the dagger element. He definitely has what I think of as Lucius’s nose.

I haven’t been successful in finding models for Trio or Arpalycus, either of whom it might be fun to put on the sequel novella that will be included with book 7, but the search is interesting!

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