emissary snippet

On a lighter note than last week, I thought I'd post some snippets of EMISSARY. Unedited, uncut, and un...clean.


Tyrolean kept close, but he needn’t have bothered. The citizens barely glanced Draken's way, marking him for what he was: a foreigner coming to trade. They just didn’t realize his goods were life and death.

That image disintegrated when they met the gate guards at Kordewyn. First the queue—and Draken had considered the steps slow-going. He shifted from foot to foot and constantly glanced back down into the fog concealing the city. Darkness crept through it as moonfall encroached on Sevenfel. Daybreak would not be far behind. 

“Gods forbid we don’t make dayclose.”

“It’s Tradeseason,” Galbrait said. “The merchants are open in the night.”

Right. He’d forgotten.

Someone turned their head at Galbrait’s voice. Maybe it was the accent, or his handsome features, bruised on one side. Draken leaned close to Galbrait. “We’ll never get there at this rate. Tell them who you are.”

Galbrait looked back at him, brows raised. Draken just looked back at him. The Prince hissed a breath and undid the top ties on his cloak so his torq showed, and called out, “Make way for business of the Crown. Make way!”

Heads turned, protests sounding and dying as people realized who Galbrait was. Everyone knew the torqs the royals wore—all of a kind, twisted precious metals with skystones embedded in the ends. Draken stared down the people just in front of them, and they shifted to one side as best as they were able; the path sloping up to the gate was barely five shoulders across. Slowly, they were able to shift their way through the crowd and reach the gate. Word had preceded them and the guards studied Galbrait, albeit politely.

“Gods, he’s on a bloody coin,” Draken said. “Let us pass.”

The guard, his belly straining the straps of his armor, turned to Draken. “And you are?”

“Khel Szi, Prince of BrĂ®n,” Galbrait said. “And this is his Captain and guard. Let us pass, soldier. Do we look as if we’re out for a leisurely stroll to market? Your delay could cost us all more than your own position here.”

Galbrait’s authoritative ring did it. Or perhaps it was that his cloak had parted to reveal the blood caked on his skin. The guard stepped back with a bow. But it had been long enough for people on the inside of the gate to grasp that they were looking at not only the actual Prince, but also a foreign one. It would only take moments more for them to realize they were largely unprotected, though Tyrolean was an imposing presence. Draken hurried Galbrait along, steering him down streets and alleys toward Ashwyc.

“Do you know where you’re going?” Tyrolean asked.

Not exactly. “Aye. This way.”

the ongoing saga of a modest interview...

Mr. Hickman chimes in on what he said and his experiences in the past five years...

comment on the tracy hickman interview

Below encapsulates what I want to say about this article, as I'm the one who conducted the interview. It seems to be going viral but I feel it's a tad skewed to prove some point and also neglected an important part of Mr. Hickman's intent.

I left this comment on JA Konrath's blog too.  (The sigh is because it was the fifth such comment I'd left in a row in various places and I hadn't figured out that I should just copy and paste...duh.)

So... sigh.  I'm the one who interviewed Mr. Hickman, and please know that this small "quote"  mentioned in the article was part of much larger conversation, which didn't really skew to the direction you've taken it.

It was basically a lament over the loss of bookstores, losing the opportunity to personally meet many fans--something he clearly enjoys, and not getting to write as much of the long epic fantasy he loves because the per-word rates aren't currently as good as they are for shorter works (which was where his math came in).

Mr. Hickman has decades of experience in gaming and writing, much of it in established franchises and in epic fantasy length works. As someone said on another thread, I think we can give him some credit for doing the math and figuring out what works best for him.

I'm really not trying to start a war here. I think it's awesome we all have so many choices. And I'd highly recommend, if you ever get a chance, to hear Mr. Hickman talk.
Also, squeee, fangrrl! Tracy Hickman is so NICE!!  And I got to meet him!! Also, it's awesome that Anomaly Con, where I had a very nice weekend, is getting some viral mention. :)

They are also chatting about this on Reddit. 

amendment 1:  Rarely have I had a meeting that stuck with me like meeting Mr. Hickman. I'm almost ridiculously excited to have an excuse to talk about it. Rather than coming away with any sort of negative view I came away very hopeful. Which leads to my second point:
amendment 2: I want to say something about context, and about listeners and readers, which is something Mr. Hickman himself touched on during the interview. From the source article linked above, which said it well: the meaning a reader gets from book is different from that of another reader, or even that of the author, and it’s that meaning that they take that is important.
Do I think the above links use quotes maliciously taken out of context ? (a hot-button phrase, but I can't think of one better) No. I think they're skewed to the mindset to the listener and reader, and in these cases, the bloggers (including me!)
That is the miracle of story, after all.

takin care of business

I'm arranging hotel reservations for the rest of my year's appearances. Click TOUR above to check 'em out. I regularly include concerts I'm attending and other cool events in case anyone wants to meet up.  (Plus I love live music and I love to promote bands!) I also will be adding some summer readings for the paperback version of EXILE coming in June. 

I always envisioned the life of a writer, but those dreams never, for whatever reason, included appearances. Boy was I wrong. I'm glad I am. I love going to cons, talking geek stuff, writing, meeting fans, and hanging out with my writer friends. I've even gotten my family into it now; they'll be attending three conventions with me this year, and they might crash my room at World Fantasy so they can take a look at Washington DC.

Also, I have copies of the inaugural issue of Child of Words, the Big Pulp magazine with my latest story Kingcrux in it. 

And EMISSARY has been announced. Yes, that's a mockup off EXILE'S cover... I'm sure the publicist just wanted something to put with the press release.  The book still has a long way to go; editing, cover, maps, copy editing, advance reviews... But so far I'm pleased with Skyhorse and the attention they're giving EXILE and EMISSARY.  Soon I'll announce the title of Book Three of the Seven Eyes but not until contracts are signed and such. :)


Okay, we have winners!! 

Lots of great recipes for sure. Made it tough to pick!! But I picked one for me and one for my daughter to bake. :)
Rachel Turner for her Earl Grey Cake (Whoa, wonder if we'll have the guts to make it but it looks good!)
Lidiya Williams for her Purple Yummy Cocktail. Woot!! (Don't think I should make these at the same time...)

Purple Yummy Cocktail 

1 oz Blue Curacao (Bols)
1 oz Peach schnapps (De Kuyper)
1 oz Light rum (Bacardi)
1 oz Vodka (Ketel One)
1 oz Grenadine (Rose's)
3 oz Sprite or 7-Up
Mixing instructions:

Mix in cocktail shaker with ice cubes to chill. Strain into glass, adorn with cherries.

Ari or I will be in touch if you win the big prize!!

crossing streams 2014 contest

welcome to our massive 
Crossing The Streams Author Contest 2014
in other words:  

here’s how it works

Each individual author involved is running a contest on his/her own site. The specific details vary from author to author; the contest I run on my site might be very different than the one on other writers' sites.

However, each contest has a few details in common. Specifically, each of us will select two winners from the contest on our own site. Each of those winners will receive one signed book, free, from the author whose contest they won. So, for instance, if you win here, you’ll win one of my books. If you win on Paul’s site, you’ll win one of his, etc.
But… that’s not the big prize. Once the contests have ended, all the authors involved will get together and choose one single “super-winner” from all the entries on all our sites combined. This one lucky individual will receive a signed book, free, from each and every one of the authors involved.

Yep. Somebody out there’s going to win nineteen free books.
You can only enter each author’s contest once, but you may enter multiple contests.

here's how it works here at sex scenes

Email me once between the dates of Wednesday, February 19 and  Saturday, March 19 (19 happens to be the number of books for the grand prize!)

betsydornbusch    @    gmail   .   com

Subject Line: 
Crossing Streams Entry

Body of email:    
1. A yummy recipe. Could be a cocktail, snack, whatever. 
2. Your email address and your name so I know who you are!!
3. A friendly note doesn't hurt. I'm hunkered down on deadline, remember. Lonely... 

I will choose two NOMNOMNOM recipes. One will win a signed hardback of EXILE, the other will win a signed trade paperback of ARCHIVE OF FIRE.

Both will be entered into the grand prize which includes signed books from every participant listed above!

I'll fix the recipes here and post pics of the results! With pictures! (clue #1 : my daughter loves to bake...)  (clue #2: I love to drink...) (clue #3 we have a nut allergy...)


participating authors and websites
  • Scott Lynch: Awaiting link

i'd be annoyed with me too

To set the scene:

Me: in a desperately needed shower
11 year-old-and-51-week-old daughter: trying to head off to a playdate hang out with friends

(I trust dialogue tags aren't needed)

Did you clean  your room?


Put your clothes away? Not in the bottom of your closet but hung up?

Yes, Mom.

Brush your hair? Cuz it gets tangled--


Put all new clothes on, including underwear?


I'll take that as a yes.

(mumble mumble)

WHAT? I can't hear you. I'm in the shower.

(mumble mumble)

COME IN HERE  AND TALK TO ME! You know I went to too many--

Concerts when you were young. Yeah. I'm going to her house now.

Why aren't you wearing your contacts?

Don't wanna.

You should. Go put them in. And then get your back pack and get your glasses and phone and contact...case... come back here!


And there's money in the drawer but that is not permission to buy a bunch of candy--


That's about enough of that attitude, missy.

I have to shout so you can hear me. (mumble because you're deaf and old mumble)

Okay, text me when you get there.

mumble When do I not? mumble. OkAYyyyyy Mom! Jeez!

Door slam. Didn't let it hit her butt on the way out.

Me, blow-drying, reflecting how I'd be annoyed with myself, too. 



I find her back pack.