... I was monstrously late in posting, because any illusions I had of doing this whole thing in an orderly, professional fashion have long since been set on a fence-post and shot for target practice.
But you know what? Apparently that's okay, because apparently, some fresh new folks on the Internet have been reading my posts and thinking that I and/or my book sound kind of fun. I can't even tell you what a relief that is. I'm still nervous, because not very many people have had a chance to actually sit down and read the book yet (and who knows if it'll live up to the hype?) But this whole "putting yourself out there" thing has way more intense than I ever imagined it would be, and I am so, so happy that my firstborn word-child might actually make some friends at kindergarten.
Anyway, if you're just now joining us from further corners of the Internet, here are the relevant points:
I have a guest post up at The Author Visits today, called Book Launch Bingo: Debut Author Edition. It's about what it sounds like - a little reflection on the emotional ups and downs of the whole putting-it-out-there process, and what goes into getting people excited about your book. I even made a bingo card and everything!
Also, as a reminder: The Author Visits is also hosting a giveaway for a signed copy of One Night in Sixes. It's only got about a hundred entries so far, so if you would like to read this book for the low, low price of zero dollars, get your name in the fishbowl ASAP!
Otherwise, the map-colors are coming in nicely, and at that red-lit house at the far side of the island, Sil has found himself a high-end card game, with strange company and an irresistible wager...
The fellow produced an antique silver snap-case, such as one might employ to keep one's finer cigars. Sil half expected that to be his principal offering, but all expectation crumbled as the dandy opened the case to present a multicolored array of gleaming, lustrous fine pearls.
The mother Sil had so casually mentioned to Vuchak had lived in a house of eighteen rooms, supervised a staff of sixteen to twenty, and brought to her marriage a three-hundred-acre estate... and yet she owned just one genuine white-pearl necklace. They would have buried her with it, if it hadn't been auctioned to pay the debt.
And here, now, her last-born accident of a son might very well end the night owning more than she ever had. These were jewels of every size and color — large and small, round and irregular, black and pink and blue and cream — and therein lay all the beauty of that rarest saltwater currency. There was no shaving or counterfeiting that kind of money, no tiresome scratchings or weighings needed to assure the purity of that sort of wealth, and no inflation or devaluation when Nature Herself was the master of the mint.
Then the dandy seated himself beside Sil with no end of pleasantness in his expression.
"Well-met, Master — Halfwick, is it? An absolute delight — call me Faro, if you like — and if I haven't said so already, it is so rare that we receive guests of both means and manners. Really, it will be a splendid evening, and I am so much looking forward to seeing these fine horses of yours..."
He smelled of pomade and lily-water and something else under all his beauty-regimen, something that had hardly sooner reached Sil's nose than set it savagely itching, prickling down his throat and into his lungs, informing him with his first stifled reach for the handkerchief that he would be gambling on two fronts with this arrangement here...
... but there was no wiggling out of it without forfeiting his place, no begging off without advertising that he was nothing but a childish amateur out of his depth, and no doubt about whether to excuse himself or how.
Indeed, the only question remaining was what it would be worth to go back to Calvert, having turned his miserable fly-biting herd into so many perfect, shining pearls.