All posts by Katie Jane Gallagher

About Katie Jane Gallagher

Author of Specter and The Gold in the Dark. Non-teenager suffering from a lifelong love affair with YA. Affinity for the best sorts of trash.

Chapter Forty of The Gold in the Dark and a Writing Update!

Illustratoin courtesy of Ally Grosvenor.

The fortieth chapter of The Gold in the Dark is out! New chapters, complete with brilliant chapter illustrations courtesy of Ally Grosvenor, release every other Sunday at 11 AM EST (and many times earlier)! You can get started on the series with Chapter One right here or on Wattpad.

There’s only one more chapter of The Gold in the Dark to go after this week! Like I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ve been spending a bit of time thinking about what I want to do with the book after all the chapters have been posted. One really interesting thing that happened a few days ago was that I was actually approached by a competitor to Wattpad, asking if I’d be willing to sign a contract with them to have the book on their service. The indie author in me balked at signing away rights to the book (including not only the ebook rights, but also hardback, print-on-demand, game rights, etc.), and the company’s business model didn’t seem like it would prove successful in the long term, so I didn’t sign–but still, it was a nice ego boost. 🙂 I figure even if I don’t have plans to make money on this book right now, I still want to have full control over the book in the event that the book does prove valuable to me sometime in the future.

I’m still hard at work on Beauty and the Beast and Aliens. We’re at the 70k mark, and… somehow there’s still a lot to go. Ah well, such is life. It will be out sometime, lol.

Anyway, I’m going to wrap it up here. Have a great (and healthy) rest of your weekend, and enjoy Chapter Forty.

Chapter Thirty-Nine of The Gold in the Dark and a Writing Update!

Illustration courtesy of Ally Grosvenor.

The thirty-ninth chapter of The Gold in the Dark is out! New chapters, complete with brilliant chapter illustrations courtesy of Ally Grosvenor, release every other Sunday at 11 AM EST (and many times earlier)! You can get started on the series with Chapter One right here or on Wattpad.

I’m going to keep it very quick this week! Not much has changed–I’m (still) chugging away at my WIP, and the story just seems to grow and grow and grow. I’d initially envisioned this project as a short book–no longer! Now I’m wondering if it might come in close to 90k, or maybe even higher. I’m also starting to get that writer fear that nobody’s going to like it–too long, too weird, too rambling, not enough plot. Specter wasn’t a book where I had that concern, since it so related to the Stranger Things zeitgeist and had tons of forward plot momentum, but my untitled problem child is turning out very different from Specter.

Oh well. Time will tell, and at least I’m proud of it. It definitely felt like one of those stories that needed to be told, as opposed to the random story ideas you can get that might not be deserving of a full book treatment.

Anyway, I’m going to wrap it up here. Have a great (and healthy) rest of your weekend, and enjoy Chapter Thirty-Nine.

Chapter Thirty-Eight of The Gold in the Dark and a Writing Update!

Illustration courtesy of Ally Grosvenor.

The thirty-eighth chapter of The Gold in the Dark is out! New chapters, complete with brilliant chapter illustrations courtesy of Ally Grosvenor, release every other Sunday at 11 AM EST (and many times earlier)! You can get started on the series with Chapter One right here or on Wattpad.

Well, it’s the same old story these past two weeks–I’m still working hard on my problem child WIP, Beauty and the Beast and Aliens. It’s the type of story where I’m forever realizing that there’s something else I need to add to the narrative, so I go back and do that… then realize there’s something else I missed too… Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. Is this an exhausting way to write? Yes, but it’s just the way I work, and on the positive side of things, this way of working normally means that my first draft are normally quite clean and don’t require major changes. So let’s cross our fingers and hope that this WIP needs minimal editing.

The Gold in the Dark is also in the home stretch of having all chapters posted! This has been a real marathon, not least for Ally, my illustrator extraordinaire. I’ve been trying to think of what I want to do with the book once it’s fully illustrated and posted. I definitely don’t want to sell the book for money, since its story arc demands a sequel and it doesn’t have one yet. I’m not sure if I will complete a sequel since I’m pretty devoted to other projects right now, but I do have about 30,000 words of one done, maybe more… It’s been a while since I took a look at the Scrivener file.

(I’m also kind of thinking that it makes a lot of sense to get the sequel done and hopefully bring the story to a close so that I could have a complete series and a reader magnet… But the idea of doing that is a little exhausting, so we’ll place that on the back burner for now. :P)

But to go back to the original question about what to do with The Gold in the Dark in the here and now… well, it would be nice to have it available in mobi/epub format and also to get it listed on Goodreads. Kindle Unlimited is out of the question, since that would mean I would have to pull it down from my website and Wattpad, so I’m considering offering it as a free download on Amazon. Amazon technically doesn’t allow authors to list books as free, but there’s a workaround where you can list the book as free on other marketplaces and wait for Amazon to price-match (which they will eventually). So that seems like the best option right now.

Anyway, I’m going to wrap it up here. Have a great (and healthy) rest of your weekend, and enjoy Chapter Thirty-Eight.

Chapter Thirty-Seven of The Gold in the Dark and a Writing Update!

Illustration courtesy of Ally Grosvenor.

The thirty-seventh chapter of The Gold in the Dark is out! New chapters, complete with brilliant chapter illustrations courtesy of Ally Grosvenor, release every other Sunday at 11 AM EST (and many times earlier)! You can get started on the series with Chapter One right here or on Wattpad.

Not much is different these last few weeks–I’ve just been working more on my WIP. The plot and character realizations are coming fast and furious now; I love that happy stage when everything seem to start coming together into a cohesive story. Is there a lot of editing to do? Yes. Is it going to be a good book in the end? Also yes, I think.

I know my posting on the blog has been (extremely) scarce–I’m okay with that, as long as I’m drafting. I miss doing reviews, but I know I’ll get back into them again once I’m done drafting. Lord knows I have thoughts aplenty about the books that I read, but one only has so much capacity for creative attention, and I feel like I’m putting all of it where it counts most, which is in finishing my next book. So no excuses from me–I’ll settle back into blogging soon enough.

Anyway, I’m going to wrap it up here. Have a great (and healthy) rest of your weekend, and enjoy Chapter Thirty-Seven.

Chapter Thirty-Six of The Gold in the Dark and a Writing Update!

Illustration courtesy of Ally Grosvenor.

The thirty-sixth chapter of The Gold in the Dark is out! New chapters, complete with brilliant chapter illustrations courtesy of Ally Grosvenor, release every other Sunday at 11 AM EST (and many times earlier)! You can get started on the series with Chapter One right here or on Wattpad.

I’m so happy that these past two weeks I’ve been continuing to plug away at my WIP. I’ve reached the 60k mark, but somehow feel there’s so much more to go. (!!!) I can’t believe that I once thought this would be a short book; it seems like it’s turning out to be anything but. One thing that’s been a big help to me creativity-wise has been the easing of quarantine here in Connecticut. I can’t go write in coffee shops or at the library yet (even Barnes & Noble is only doing curb-side pick-up), but I’ve been going to my writer friend’s house a few times each week so that we can write together. We’ve made Zoom calls work these past few months, but it’s such a nicer experience to be together in person. ❤

Another notable thing that happened recently is that I found another writer who did a take on a Beauty and the Beast retelling with an alien framework! Or, at least, Amanda Milo’s novella Contaminated claims to be a retelling of the classic fairytale; I did think that claim was a bit looser than most.

It can be a bit alarming as an author to hear that another book has a seemingly similar premise to your own. It stands to reason that I’m not the first one to think that an alien-human romance is ripe for a Beauty and the Beast take (the idea is kind of obvious if you think about it), but I hadn’t been able to find one on the market until now. Fortunately it turns out that Contaminated, while a very cute story, isn’t at all like my WIP. And that’s the thing: a similar premise approached by two different writers is bound to end up being different, because every writer brings their own creative lens and background to the table. That’s why my writer friend wasn’t at all concerned when she told me her plans to write a cozy cat shifter book–and then she encouraged me to write my own as well when I told her it was one of the best ideas I’d ever heard. Here’s something else to consider: if a reader really likes a book, they seek out other books that will scratch that same itch. So it can actually be a good thing if your book has some similar elements to other works, because readers are often on the hunt for more of the same. How many times have I picked up a book hoping it will be like my beloved Sookie Stackhouse books? The answer is a lot.

Anyway, I’m going to wrap it up here. Have a great (and healthy) rest of your weekend, and enjoy Chapter Thirty-Six.

Blog Tour + Review: A Royal Kiss and Tell by Julia London

Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin for sending me a free advanced reader copy of this book for an honest review. A Royal Kiss and Tell debuted May 19th.

I adored last year’s The Princess Plan, so I made sure to be first in line for an ARC when the sequel was posted on NetGalley. I love your typical snag-a-duke historical romance, but the Royal Wedding series takes the fantasy to the next level with handsome princes and court intrigue. Let’s get the details out of the way, then get to the review…


A Royal Kiss & Tell
London, Julia 
FICTION/Romance/Historical/Victorian 
Mass Market | HQN Books | A Royal Wedding #2
9781335136978
$7.99 USD | $10.99 CAN

Blurb

Every prince has his secrets. And she’s determined to unravel his…

Every young man in London’s ton is vying for Lady Caroline Hawke’s hand—except one. Handsome roué Prince Leopold of Alucia can’t quite remember Caroline’s name, and the insult is not to be tolerated. So Caroline does what any clever, resourceful lady of means would do to make sure Leo never again forgets: sees that scandalous morsels about his reputation are printed in a ladies’ gossip gazette…all while secretly setting her cap for the rakish royal.

Someone has been painting Leo as a blackguard, but who? Socially, it is ruining him. More important, it jeopardizes his investigation into a contemptible scheme that reaches the highest levels of British government. Leo needs Lady Caroline’s help to regain access to society. But this charming prince is about to discover that enlisting the deceptively sweet and sexy Lady Caroline might just cost him his heart, his soul and both their reputations…

Author Bio

Julia London is a NYT, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical and contemporary romance. She is a six-time finalist for the RITA Award of excellence in romantic fiction, and the recipient of RT Bookclub’s Best Historical Novel.

Social

www.julialondon.com/newsletter
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Buy Links

Harlequin | Amazon | Apple Books | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Google Play | IndieBound | Kobo

(I receive no commission on these links, FYI!)

Review

I adored the first book in this series, The Princess Plan, last year, and was so excited to get a chance to read this second book! Like the previous book, the characters in this book are excellent; one thing that London does so well is craft characters who feel solid and utterly unique. On that note, I can see a potential for some readers to be turned off by the MC, Caroline; she’s impetuous to an extreme and isn’t shy about making her opinions known. These traits often land her in sticky situations that can get cringy, so anyone super sensitive to cringe might find this a tougher couple to fall in love with. I was quite taken with her, though. 🙂

Due to the royal focus and the invented kingdom of Alucia, this series has a slightly more fantasy feel than your typical historical romance (a genre which, let’s be honest, is its own strain of fantasy, anyway.) Anyone looking for historical accuracy should perhaps keep browsing, but for those of us who just want to imagine a scenario where we get to fall in love with a dashing prince, this book is just perfect. The dialogue is great and the prose is strong, with the right amount of whimsy that doesn’t cross into saccharine sweet or precious territory. I also appreciated the court intrigue plot thread; astute mystery readers might unravel the mystery before the end, but I didn’t anticipate the twists and turns myself. All in all, this was a great read, and I’ll definitely be first in line for the next in series.

Chapter Thirty-Five of The Gold in the Dark and a Writing Update!

Illustration courtesy of Ally Grosvenor.

The thirty-fifth chapter of The Gold in the Dark is out! New chapters, complete with brilliant chapter illustrations courtesy of Ally Grosvenor, release every other Sunday at 11 AM EST (and many times earlier)! You can get started on the series with Chapter One right here or on Wattpad.

Not much different these past few weeks, though I did finally get out a new Short Tuesday! It’s not much, but I’m considering it a win. I have another few blog posts planned for this coming week as well. Work-wise our season is finally slowing down again, so I’m hopeful that I’ll have more energy to devote creatively. I’m also going to be working from home until at least July, which I think will also be helpful in terms of creative output? Hard to say, since the wrecking of my normal schedule and routine due to COVID-19 has really hampered writing for me; I know a lot of other authors feel similarly. Even Mark Dawson has been saying that he’s lucky to get in just a few hours a day right now.

In terms of other small victories, I’m also reading more than I have been–I was in a bit of a slump through April, but I’ve finally broken through that and now feel very motivated to read… which is always great for my general creativity as well. I’ve been loving the Beauty and the Beast retellings by Robin McKinley. (She has two.) Just such a pleasure to read fiction by an author who really knows what she’s doing.

Anyway, I’m going to wrap it up here. Have a great (and healthy) rest of your weekend, and enjoy Chapter Thirty-Five.

Short Tuesday Returns! #43: “The Black Beast of Belterre” by Mary Jo Putney

Short Tuesday makes a triumphant return this week–hurrah! Normally I reserve this spot for horror-tinged SFF, but I thought I’d do something a bit different this week, so actually turned to a novella by romance author Mary Jo Putney. It’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling, which anyone who’s spent a little time around these parts will know is super interesting to me right now. You can buy it off Amazon for $1.99… (I receive no commission for this link.)

I really enjoyed this novella, which flew by for me in about an hour and a half. It’s branded as a Christmas novella, but Christmas has the smallest of influences on the story–I didn’t feel weird at all reading it in May. I didn’t much get along with the last work I read by Putney (strangely, also Christmas-themed), due to 3rd POV reasons, but I didn’t experience any of those frustrations here.

This is a tale as old as time (har har): a man with confidence problems reluctantly falls in love with a smart and charming beauty. It’s a retelling of the classic fairy tale, but sticks strictly to those bare roots of the story–the magic is in the budding romance between the MCs, rather than curses and talking teapots. I was definitely aching for these two MCs to get together; the male MC’s insta-love wasn’t off-putting to me at all. A fair warning that anyone looking for sex scenes won’t find them here–there is definitely romantic longing and tension, but the one sex scene is top down and detail-free. I wouldn’t have minded things to get a bit more X-rated, but I can understand from a pacing standpoint why Putney didn’t go there.

I’m really happy I read this short story–one, because I’m on a Beauty and the Beast tear, but also because it gave me a second chance to read this author. I think we might have gotten off on the wrong footing; I’ll probably give one of Putney’s full-fledged novels a chance some time. This novella definitely has a thumbs up from me. 🙂

Chapter Thirty-Four of The Gold in the Dark and a Writing Update!

Illustration courtesy of Ally Grosvenor.

The thirty-fourth chapter of The Gold in the Dark is out! New chapters, complete with brilliant chapter illustrations courtesy of Ally Grosvenor, release every other Sunday at 11 AM EST (and many times earlier)! You can get started on the series with Chapter One right here or on Wattpad.

It’s been another one of those two week periods with not really anything happening on the blog. 😦 I’ve been writing my WIP and reading, but motivation for blogging has been low for me, both due to the quarantine and the fact that it’s crunch time at my job. I know I’ll get back into the swing of things, but it’s just not happening right now. I think I’ll try to get a Short Tuesday post up this week; that would be a nice, achievable victory. I also have an ARC review to write, so maybe I’ll try to get that out for Thursday or Sunday.

But really, I’m just happy that I’m making progress on my WIP. This has been a slow book from the start, and I’ll definitely be happy to be done with it! (And let’s hope that day comes sooner rather than later!!) I’m not sure what I’ll be working on once I finish–there are a couple possibilities. I might swing right into a sequel for Beauty and the Beast and Aliens, since I can see the potential of this book developing into a longer series… or I might work on a different sci-fi retelling… or maybe even a cat shifter cozy that’s been bouncing around my mind for the last month and a half or so. That idea was gifted to me by one of my writer friends–thanks, Dawn. 🙂

Anyway, I’m going to wrap it up here, and I will try my absolute hardest to see you all again on Tuesday!!! Have a great (and healthy) rest of your weekend, and enjoy Chapter Thirty-Four.

Chapter Thirty-Three of The Gold in the Dark and a Writing Update!

Picture courtesy of Ally Grosvenor.

The thirty-third chapter of The Gold in the Dark is out! New chapters, complete with brilliant chapter illustrations courtesy of Ally Grosvenor, release every other Sunday at 11 AM EST (and many times earlier)! You can get started on the series with Chapter One right here or on Wattpad.

In writing news, Camp NaNo is going… okay. I’ve definitely been adding words to my manuscript–not as many as I’d like, but what’s new? 😉 I’m continuing to do Zoom dates with my writing buddies, which has been really fun. And I’ve added a new character to my story; this book has a very small cast thus far, so it’s always nice to add someone new into the mix.

I thought it might be fun this week to give some shout-outs to a few new bookish things! The first is Dabble, a writing service that I think I’ve mentioned before once or twice. I’ve been drafting on Dabble for the past nine months or so, and I really enjoy it; it has a similar layout to Scrivener, but everything syncs to the cloud and you can write from a browser if you want to, so that it’s easy to write from multiple computers. What’s nice is that they’ve added mobile support just a few days ago! I’m sure other writers out there will relate to how it can be really annoying to get an idea for your book while you’re out and about and not have anywhere to write it down–I normally text myself in those situations, but now I can just use the app to jot the idea down in my actual story document. Hurrah!!!

I also want to shout out Self Publishing Formula, which is Mark Dawson’s company that offers courses and webinars for indie authors, as well as an excellent podcast. Most indies probably know Mark Dawson; he’s a giant in the industry. Anyway, his company has been running lots of promos on courses for indie authors due to COVID-19, and now they’re working on a BookBub competitor called Hello Books. It’s not up and running yet, but you can get on a waitlist. Given Mark Dawson’s success in the industry, this seems like an interesting opportunity to grow your list and get exposure.

Anyway, I’m going to wrap it up here. Have a great (and healthy) rest of your weekend, and enjoy Chapter Thirty-Three.