Doris is working on illustrations for the Sweep in Peace and this is the first one.  I was going to hold it back, but I can’t sit on it anymore because it’s beautiful.  Click the image for a larger or crisper version.  I had to tone down the quality or it would take forever to load, but I wanted to show detail at the bottom.


I didn’t mean to

I’ve been slacking on the blog posts lately, so I thought we’d try a new feature.  Every day or so I will post a quote from a work in progress.  It might be Kate and Curran.  It might be Mad Rogan and Nevada.  It might be from Sweep in Peace.  Just a fun quote.  Here is one for today:

Oh crap. We wanted it alive. I dragged my left hand over my face.

Curran laughed at me.

“I didn’t meant to! It was an accident.”

“Aha,” Curran grinned at me. “So when I kill something, it’s inconsiderate. When you kill something, it’s an accident. I see how it is.”


Magic Breaks: Review from Library Journal

Magic Breaks: Review from Library Journal

Kate Daniels just wants to grab some quiet time with the shape-shifting love of her life (and leader of Atlanta’s Pack) Curran, but her father has other plans. Kate is the only living child of Roland, the many-thousand-year-old builder of towers, creator of vampires, and the most powerful magic wielder in the world. She has long hidden her paternity, but the secret is out now, and no one whom Kate cares about is safe. The Pack has amassed too much power, and Roland sends his general to Atlanta to take care of them—and Kate—once and for all. The action and tension are high as Kate heads for an inevitable confrontation with her father.

VERDICT This is one of the best urban fantasy series around, and while there is a strong romantic element (including a weirdly discordant steamy sex scene), the focus is on the battle and the continued development of Kate, who is conflicted about her own power but determined to protect those close to her. The series has just made the jump to hardcover (after 2013′s Magic Rises).Library Journal Booksmack! LJXpress Prepub School Library Journal Horn Book Guide Horn Book Magazine Junior Library Guild

Thank you Library Journal!  I love you bunches!  Thank you so much for such a kind review.

I especially loved the mention of weirdly steamy sex.  Honestly there is only one sex scene in the book, but we got tired of being asked to tone it down, so we just wrote it with the same frankness we write fight scenes.  We hope you’ll enjoy. :)

New Sweep in Peace, Nicole, and Other Things

First things first: new chapter of Sweep in Peace is up.

After many resumes, we’ve found our virtual assistant.  Thank you so much to everyone who applied.  Your resumes were awesome, but unfortunately we only had one position available.  The assistant’s name is Nicole and she will be taking over email, Twitter accounts and other things so hopefully we can do more writing and be less crazy.  Well, less crazy mostly applies to me.  Writing is an interesting profession.  So if you see tweets from me that say [mod] or [admin], it’s Nicole.

Does this mean you won’t answer emails personally?

Depends on the email.  If the email has a specific question Nicole can’t answer or if it’s a complimentary email, it will be forwarded to us.  If it’s hate mail, it won’t. My time is limited and I would much prefer to spend it writing, reading, or hanging out with my family. Nicole is very nice and our email box is in good hands.





PR assistant position open

Update: Thank you, we have reached the limit of resumes we can process.  I really appreciate all of your advice and enthusiasm.

Thank you so much for all of your feedback.  I called down to local college, but unfortunately I can’t get anyone until fall or even spring semester, as they have to approve and review my paperwork.  Unfortunately, I need to hire someone right now.  I tried searching for PR/Creative services.  I even checked Craigslist.  I am not sure how “sexy house cleaning” qualifies as a creative/pr service, but someone sure thinks it does. O_o

Basically PR firms would like to charge me quite a bit of money and set up blog tours and radio appearances, etc while using words like “aggressive marketing strategy” and “robust online presence.” That’s a little more than I need.  So this is an official job posting.

Assistant Position

2-5 hours per week.  Hours will vary.  This is my best guess.

Starting at $15 per hour.  If you are awesome, there will be a raise.

Must be familiar with social networks.

Preference will be given to someone who is familiar with the current book-related blog scene (trying to save myself some time.)


Take over Twitter account, possibly prepare the newsletter (because I am epic fail on that), respond to reader queries regarding availability of various titles, and other assorted tasks as they come up, such as forwarding positive reviews, keeping calendar, etc.   For example, I may ask you to coordinate a library giveaway, where we donate audiobooks to libraries. I would expect you to become a point of contact for the libraries, record everything, and at the end give me a list of addresses and which book must be sent where.

I’m looking for someone who is punctual and above all cordial.  You may end up dealing with some unexpected abuse from random strangers on the internet.

Someone advised me to be slow to hire and very quick to fire people.  I intend to stick to that philosophy. We will likely set up a schedule.  If you don’t think you can stick to it, this might not be a good idea. If I find out that you are letting emails sit in your box for days, you will be fired.  I do that now and it’s clearly not working for me.

Also if you are thinking, “This will be great!  It will be all about books and exciting and I will get to see how it works behind the scenes and weee!” No. This will be boring and I am likely a horrible bitch to work for.  I’ve never had an employee before and this will be a learning experience.

If you would like to give this a shot, email me at  Please include a resume.  Please understand that I am likely to get many applicants, and there is only one position available.

Update for clarity: you don’t have to live near us.  This is a telecommuting position.  :)

Magic Shifts

Magic Shifts

I didn’t realize that we didn’t announce this, but Kate 8 has a title – MAGIC SHIFTS.  Here is how the title came to be chosen.

Me: Dear Anne,  Please find enclosed 20 pages of MAGIC HOPEFULLY SENDS OLDEST DAUGHTER TO COLLEGE.

Anne (editor): Love it. I’ve got some title ideas from the copy department so once I read through this I’ll send you some to consider that I think fit best.

Me: We only have one request: So far we had Magic Bites, Magic Burns, Magic Bleeds, and Magic Breaks. Maybe Magic Some other letter that’s not B?… :D

Anne: I will do my best to accommodate that request. I think at least some of the ideas started with something other than “B”. :)

Anne: What do you think about MAGIC SHIFTS as the title? Of the ones on the copy department’s list, I thought it worked well with the idea that in this book things are changing from the status quo (and it does not start with a “B”, per your request, Ilona!).

Nancy (agent): yes, & because MAGIC TICKS is maybe a little too challenging!

So there you go.  It’s not MAGIC TICKS. :)

I’ve got a question for you: have you ever worked with a virtual assistant?  I’ve read this article about a virtual assistant service, but the problem is, my needs would be a little more specific.  I need someone to manage the pro Twitter account, sift through business and fan correspondence coming in through the website, pull quotes from positive reviews, post those positive reviews here and Facebook (or send them to me so I can post them), etc.  I do things like forget to respond to interview requests and it would be nice if someone sent them to me with “Hey, reply to this email, you twisted goon.”  I also want to avoid the knee jerk reactions to emails that accuse me of weird things.  Most of the email I get are actually really nice.  But you know how it goes, you get one email that makes you see red and then you can’t work for a week.

I have some options available to me, such as I could call down to a local college and see if they want to send me an intern, but I’m not sure what value I can offer to an intern.  Because it wouldn’t be about writing, it would be more about publicity and fan interaction.

So have you used someone?  How did it go?


Funnies! And a tiny snippet

So it’s been all doom and gloom and health problems lately.  I do not like health problems.  I decided I would rather not have them. Funny how you don’t appreciate how good you have it until something comes over and wallops you upside the head.  But it’s Friday.  I am going to try working.  We’ll see how it goes.

Here is a work from home funny for you courtesy of Buzzfeed.

And here is a tiny snippet from Magic Shifts.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw Julie swipe an oiled rag along the edge of her tactical tomahawk. Thirteen inches long, Kestrel tomahawk weighed eighteen ounces. Its wide bearded blade tapered down to a wicked spike that curved downward, sharpened to a narrow point. It was meant as a tool that occasionally could be thrown at rotten logs for fun. Julie decided to make it her weapon of choice. None of my explanations about versatility and lightness of swords made any dent in her.

“I have a gladius in the back,” I told her. It was her favorite among my blades.

“I’m fine with my Kestrel, thank you.”

Curran raised his thick eyebrows. “She told you.”

I sighed. “Why do you drag that thing everywhere?”

Julie hefted the tomahawk. “Because I can make a hole in anything.”

Some quick answers

You didn’t reply to my email, so I sent more emails.  You didn’t reply to those either.  Are you dead?

ilona_2 (1)No, I’m not dead, although Jill Myles/Jessica Claire emailed to me the other day and asked my why I fell off the planet.  :)  I’m having some minor health issues, which unfortunately prevented me from working and answering emails.  Nothing life threatening; it’s just inconvenient.  I haven’t worked in over a week and a half, which is not fun as work is typically the way I cope.  The chances of me answering your past email at this point are not great, so if it was something really important, please resend it.  I expect to be back at work tomorrow – we don’t write, we don’t eat – so we’ll see how it goes.


The audiobook has been recorded.  I know this because I received an email from Renee as she recorded it.  She liked the book and was emotionally moved by it.  :)  I would guess it should be available on the release date, as all others were.

Are you having another online chat thing?

Yes.  We will be doing an online appearance at Booktalk Nation.  Here is the link.  If you are unable to attend a physical signing but still would like a signed personalized copy, you can order it from Booktalk Nation.  Orders will be filled by Murder by the Book, a great independent book store in Houston, TX.

Magic Breaks Tour

I bring to you the appearance schedule for  Magic Breaks.  In the past we did a small event before the signing where we met readers at coffee shops, etc. These events are very informal.  If you want to do something while we’re in your city, let us know.  Here are some things to consider:

a) number of people.  Sometimes we’d get ten people showing up and the local Starbucks would be too small.  This thread is a good place to get organized.  If you let us know when, where, and how many, we will post it on the blog.

b) signings are mandatory for Gordon and I.  We will do our best to accommodate you, but we strongly prefer to have the meeting within walking distance of the bookstore so we aren’t late.

c) travel arrangements.  Sometimes planes get delayed and traffic stalls, so we may have to cancel a meeting on short notice.

Fun picture from RT 2014.  :)

Fun picture from RT 2014. :)

Sadly for the tour it will be just Gordon and I.

Tuesday, July 29
6:30 PM: Murder By the Book
2342 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX 77005

Wednesday, July 30
7:00 PM: University Bookstore
4326 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

Thursday, July 31
7:00 PM: Powell’s
3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd.
Beaverton, OR 97005

Friday, August 1
7:00 PM: Barnes & Noble
3225 W 69th St.
Edina, MN 55435

Saturday, August 2
2:00 PM: Foxtale Book Shoppe
105 East Main Street #138
Woodstock, GA 30188

Sunday, August 3
3:00 PM Barnes & Noble
10000 Research Blvd.
Austin, TX 78759