Friday, June 29, 2018

Summer Plans

Within a few weeks, assuming that the universe refrains from tossing spanners into the works, the fifth and last of my Legends of the Five Directions novels—The Shattered Drum (5: Center)—will receive its formal launch into the book world. After ten years of work, this particular series is drawing to its close, bringing the usual combination of nostalgia and relief.

But this is not the end for Nasan, Daniil, and their extended families. The first book of a new series, Songs of Steppe & Forest, is already near completion and likely to appear in the spring of next year. Titled Song of the Siren, it focuses on Roxelana, now renamed Juliana for reasons explained in The Shattered Drum, as she deals with the consequences of her flight from Moscow, her marriage, and the events between 1538 and 1541–42, when the new series begins. Just as a teaser, several familiar characters from the Legends series managed to sneak their way into that story. Ideas for book 2, Song of the Shaman, are already germinating in my brain. Knowing Nasan and Daniil, they will definitely elbow their way into that one.

In honor of Shattered Drum’s release, too, I have revised The Golden Lynx. The few historical errors that I discovered while researching later books are now corrected; characters and incidents that I created after the first book came out receive at least passing mention where appropriate; and I took advantage of the experience gained from typing my second million words to tighten and hone the prose. If you loved the first edition, there’s no need to purchase the second: the differences lie more in the realm of nuance than of fundamental change. But for those new to the series the second edition will replace the original text as soon as the computers recognize that the two are variations of the same book.

So that you can keep the two versions apart, though, we at Five Directions Press have designed a spiffy new cover for the second edition, revealed here for the first time.

Best of all, I have the whole of next week away from my e-mail and its constant demands to clean up the last details on the Legends novels and get started on Song of the Shaman. And man, can I use the break. It’s been crazy this year!

Last, so that people who encounter the series at its end (or who have waited for the end before tackling it) can get up to speed quickly and relatively inexpensively, I will be issuing box sets of Legends 1–3 and 4–5 while lowering the prices of individual books to $2.99.  And—again assuming the computers permit—all five novels will soon be available for borrowing on Kindle Unlimited and through Kindle Prime. So stock up, tell your friends, and recommend the series to your book clubs. Who knows, if Nasan gets the kind of readership she believes she deserves, she might even make it to the Silver Screen one day! The costumes and the sets alone would be worth the price of admission, don’t you think?

All images © C. P. Lesley and Five Directions Press.

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