Thursday, April 23, 2020

Pre-Orders Available!

It is with much excitement that I announce the pre-orders for Sorcery of the Blood are now live at NineStar Press! Follow the link below. If you order now you will receive your book three days early!

Kingston St. Louis and Martin Von Brandt are vampire hunters of the highest caliber. That is until Kingston is made a vampire and they discover too late that the city is being taken over by vampires in a bloody coup.
Branded as outlaws, they’re forced into hiding with an unexpected ally. For their plan to stop the coup to work, Kingston will have to overcome his prejudices and train the very vampires he used to hunt, and Martin must learn magic.
All the while, they struggle with their feelings for each other. Love can be a weakness, and they can’t afford weakness when hiding from a powerful enemy.

Pre-Order Sorcery of the Blood

I know it's a short update but I've got to go to work. Stay safe!

xoxo

Alice

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Sorcery of the Blood - Release date, cover art, and more

I'd like to start off by advising everyone to please follow me on Twitter because that's honestly where most of my book updates are going. I'm admittedly not great at maintaining a website. Anyway, so originally I announced on my Twitter account the release date for my book would be April 27th, 2020. It has now been changed to May 4th, 2020. I'm really excited and it's starting to feel more real to me now than when I first signed my contract back in November.

And here it is, the beautiful cover art that was created for my book. That I keep staring at because I kind of still can't believe that it's really happening.

Isn't it gorgeous? I fucking love it so much. It has my name on it and everything.

Sorcery of the Blood digital copies will be available through NineStar Press, and you should be able to pre-order them on May 1st. Digital copies will be released May 4th. As for physical copies, you can obtain those from most retailers (and I for one can't wait to see something I wrote on the Barnes and Noble website. I will probably cry).

Speaking of crying, I had to have a talk with my father the other day. I'm going to mention now I probably won't get very personal on this blog often, but when I do it's going to be for stuff like this so buckle your seat belt.

I was excited about the book cover and texted it to him so he could see it. He said that he was going to buy a copy as soon as it was out. The thing is, while my Dad is aware I'm asexual, I hadn't told him that I'm non-binary/genderfluid. The main reason being I thought he'd flip his shit and disown me and he's the only person in my immediate family I'm still on speaking terms with. He's never gave any indication he would do so, but to be fair you never really know until you speak up.

However, my author's bio specifically says I'm ace and an enby. It hit me that if Dad bought a copy of Sorcery of the Blood, he'd be learning about my gender identity through a book that's also extremely critical of conservatives (which he is one). I decided that might not be the best way for him to find out. But I couldn't face calling him so I texted "oh by the way I'm non-binary".

The little typing window on the text screen seemed to stay there forever. I think he was trying to gather his thoughts. But what I saw next did make me cry in a good way. He assured me he still loved me, and even asked if it's okay for him to still call me his daughter (as I'm AFAB). I assured him it was fine and advised that my preferred pronouns are they/them but I'll answer to she/her or he/him.

Honestly what really got me was that he said, "oh maybe I shouldn't call you daughter anymore". Because I know if I'd come out to him about this five years ago, or even a year ago, he wouldn't have been nearly as nice about it. He still struggles with a lot of the aspects of, well, me, but gods bless him he's trying.

I'm quite lucky to have him as my father.

It feels a bit weird to be having this in the middle of a fucking pandemic too. I was going to go out to my favorite restaurant to celebrate the books release, but, much like my birthday party, that plan is now on hold. I almost feel guilty for being happy about something when there's so much suffering from Covid-19. But I'm trying to stay positive and this is one of the things I've been focusing on in order to do so.

Now to circle back. Sorcery of the Blood will be released in just a few short weeks. It's my first book, and it's a labor of spite. Which I mention in the acknowledgements and will tell you the story of when the book is officially out.

Until then, stay home, practice social distancing, and wash your hands.

xoxo

Alice

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sorcery of the Blood - Behind the Scenes

I've just finished the copy edit for the latest version of Sorcery of the Blood, my upcoming debut novel. I'm not the least bit surprised to find out I am very, very bad when it comes to proper grammar. I'm not feeling so great right now, especially as I feel as though I didn't have a weekend. But in the end this will be worth it. I'll have my book in my hands and my hard work will have paid off.

Which is why today, I decided to give everyone some bonus information. Originally I was going to do a photo tour of Phoenix, showing the buildings that inspired the settings. Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 outbreak I'm currently house bound, as I hope all of you are as well. And since it's my birthday on Tuesday, I felt this would be a small but fun way to celebrate. So here's some information about places in the book, whether they appear under their own name or not.

The Guadalupe Hotel - Hotel San Carlos, Downtown Phoenix 



This is where a majority of the book takes place. I stayed here in 2016 before I moved to Phoenix. I was in town for a Fall Out Boy concert and this was walking distance to the venue and not crazy expensive. It happened to be my birthday that week, so the night before the concert I went to dinner with friends then spent most of the evening at the Irish bar next door.

What really struck me about the San Carlos isn't just the age of the building, but its character. I liked that there was a swimming pool on the roof of the third floor. I loved that there were dedications to the supposed ghost of the hotel near the elevators. It was a charming hotel and I will likely stay there again before I leave Phoenix.

I took a lot of liberties with the interior. For example, I'm fairly certain there are no basement levels, though I have written a basement common room into the story. The interior design for the rooms has also been played with for the sake of the story. Though some things remain the same. The room that I describe as Tyrone's is based on an actual suite that can be booked at the hotel, more specifically the Mae West suite.

About 90% of the book takes place at the hotel, so every location after this is going to be a minor feature in one or two scenes. I won't be going into detail as that would spoil the ending.

Burton Barr Central Library - Downtown Phoenix




A good chunk of the book was written at this library, which is why it features in some key scenes. They have study rooms there that are great for isolating yourself and getting your work done. They're quite popular with students and also to hold meetings. I also gathered quite a few research details from books at this library, and I'm grateful to the people who helped.

What really caught my attention was the Rare Book Room. They have a sort of tour, where one of the librarians will display rare books that are part of the library's collection. My favorite being a miniature version of the Bible that belonged to someone in Queen Elizabeth I's court in the 1500s. It was a delight, and if you're ever in Phoenix and have a chance, I highly recommend taking the tour.

The reason this is important, is because the librarian said that the book vault is sunproof and completely environmentally controlled. I asked a few questions that probably made them think I was nuts. However, the vault is the perfect hide out for a vampire. The full idea was never realized, but the original concept still has a place in the book, which you will see.

Western Sun - Westward Ho, Downtown Phoenix



This building caught my attention when I was wandering downtown one day. Within walking distance of both the Hotel San Carlos and Burton Barr, it has a very interesting history. Originally, I'd thought of making Westward Ho the base of operations over the Hotel San Carlos. In the end, I decided it would make a better base for the villains.

It was originally supposed to play a larger role in the book, but most of the scenes there were cut before I submitted the draft for publication. However it does still play an important role. 

Marina Heights - Waterfront, Tempe AZ




This is the basis for the office building that Kingston and Martin work at. Again this was meant to feature more heavily but the scenes ended up being cut. I chose this set of buildings specifically because they look beautiful at sunset. When I first moved here, I spent an evening sitting across the river, having an In N Out cheeseburger and watching the lights on the water. 

While they still remain in one scene, I was a little disappointed I had to cut the others. 

And that's it, that's the very brief photo tour. Most places that are listed in the book are real locations in and around the Phoenix metro area, and each one has some sort of significance to me. Which I'll get into another time, once the book is out. 

I don't have a release date or a cover yet, but once I do, I'll be sure to post them here. In the meantime, please take care of each other. And remember, practice social distancing and wash your fucking hands!

xoxo

Alice

Saturday, January 11, 2020

New Year, New Site

So I didn't really plan this, but as I wanted to get my own domain I did so as soon as I got back from vacation. I'm going to be cross-posting between my current WordPress site (which will remain up) and my new site at https://www.alicegholmes.com/ which I hope everyone will check out. It's honestly not too different from this site as it's also a blog.

After today I will no longer be updating my WordPress.

I've returned from New Orleans with some new ideas and some better ideas for the current book. I'm looking forward to getting the edits back for that so I can get cracking.

I also know that I promised everyone some content for Sorcery of the Blood (current title) and while I didn't have time in December to share, I do have some time now. Here it is, the playlist for Sorcery of the Blood.

I built this list through Spotify, and the explanations are below. Now some are going to have to wait until after the book comes out as otherwise, they'll spoil it. However, every song has a corresponding character or scene. The ones that do not have an explanation listed will receive one when the book is released. 

Sorcery of the Blood Playlist

Monster - Skillet - This song is Kingston's theme song for the book. His entire problem is he sees himself as a monster and that's one of his biggest hurdles to overcome over the course of the book.

Help I'm Alive - Metric - This song is Martin's theme song for the book. I could give several reasons but the main one is he's a little ball of anxiety and this suits him.

Long Live the Chief - Jidenna - Tyrone's theme song. He's the boss of the book and knows it.

Firestarter - The Prodigy - Theme song for the twins, Ash and Cinder. They like to make trouble and they're fairly energetic.

Don't Stop Me Now - Queen - This one is for Felix because that's very much who he is as a person. He's flamboyant and loves to have a good time. 

The City Is At War - Cobra Starship - This was originally going to be the title for the book, however, it was made clear to me I would likely be sued into oblivion if I did. So thank you to several friends for stopping me. The lyrics suit the book to a T, and while I can't explain why because again spoilers, I assure you it's quite apt. 

I hope you've enjoyed this little peek into what I've been doing. I'll keep everyone updated as to the progress on editing and the eventual release of my book. Please follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AliceGHolmes as well as Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/alice.holmes.1253 for more frequent updates. 

xoxo 

Alice 


Pre-Orders Available!

It is with much excitement that I announce the pre-orders for Sorcery of the Blood are now live at NineStar Press! Follow the link below. If...