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  • Ideas to books,  Mysterious Powers

    Idea to Book: Carry On

    The next book in our Ideas to Books series is Carry On, set in 1915, almost entirely in the Temple of Healing in Trellech. 

    eReader with cover of Carry On showing on it, on a bed of pale pink rose petals.

    When I started thinking about the Mysterious Powers series as a way to look at what was going on with the various institutions of Albion during and in the aftermath of the Great War, I knew I needed to be a little more consistent about planning out my timeline. (Unlike the Mysterious Charm books, which bounce around the 1920s out of sequence.) 

  • Announcements

    Come join the conversation!

    Starting today, we’ve got two great new places to chat, and for me to share more about my writing and Albion. I have the best readers, so I hope you’ll join me in one or more of these places, depending on your own preferences.

    (Extra thanks to everyone who responded to my survey in November 2022 for helping me figure out which options made the most sense to try out!)

    And a huge round of appreciation to Kiya, who has helped me get the Discord set up. (Kiya wears many hats – often literally – as well as being my editor, first reader, and other half of my brain.)

    Cover of Point By Point displayed on a tablet resting on various pages from books, with a magnifying glass.
    A lot of my characters enjoy a social situation, but it’s the Dwellers at the Forge (and Martin and Galen in specific) I think of when it comes to great conversations.

    Discord

    Discord offers a text-based chat server (you can share images and links, too). It’s a low-key way to hang out and connect without other people and have slower conversations without a social media algorithm deciding what you see.

    All sorts of topics are fair game! I’m glad to chat about books – mine and most all others – but also historical amusements, food and crafts, interesting astronomy, and whatever else seems interesting.

    Our server is called Albion’s Delights. It’s a private server just to keep it more manageable, so you’ll need an invite link. You can get one from any email newsletter I’ve sent since the start of 2023, or by becoming a Patron on Patreon. (And if either of those are a problem, drop me a note.)

    Curious? I’ve got a guide with more information about our Discord and how to get started. It’s also got a copy of the rules if you’d like to check that out before joining us.

    Patreon

    I have a Patreon!

    A few readers (thank you!) have asked for more ways they can support my writing. I also was looking for a place where we could have more space for actual conversation, and where I could share some posts about things that don’t quite fit into the authorial blog here. (A number of people are interested in more about my writing process and tools, for example.)

    Starting out, there will be two public (free) posts a month. If you become a Patron at any level, you’ll also get early access to another post every month. This will either be a chunk from an upcoming extra or to a deeper dive into a research topic. Both of these will be available for everyone via my newsletter or blog later on.

    Learn more about Patreon and how I’m planning to use it.

    I’ll be linking to public posts (and letting people know what I shared for Patrons) in my newsletter too.

    Other places

    I’ve updated my contact page to have all the info about where I am these days online. Here are the big three:

    My newsletter is the best way to get all my news first! It’s also where you can get extras about different characters, amusing research tidbits, and other fun details.

    I’ll be making weekly blog posts here, focusing on the world and people of Albion, as well as talking more about specific books. I love getting questions from readers, so if there’s something you’re curious about, get in touch and ask!

    I’m eyeing the state of Twitter very cautiously right now, and am mostly active on Mastodon at @celialake@romancelandia.club. I also just set up a new Instagram (@celialakebooks) account, which will likely mostly be book announcements. (But also the occasional photo as I go about my life. Right now, swans!)

  • Announcements,  Writing and publishing

    My plans for 2023

    Now that I’ve talked about what I got up to in 2022, it’s time to look forward into 2023. I’m incredibly excited about my plans for 2023. There’s quite a lot to come! Publication dates may shift a little, but I expect them to be fairly close to the following.

    Copy of Best Foot Forward lying on a desk with a dip pen, bottle of ink, and paper. The cover has a deep red background with map markings in a dull purple. Two men in silhouette stand, looking up at a point in the top left. An astrology chart with different symbols picked out takes up the left side of the image, with glowing stars curving up to the title.

    Coming out in 2023

    This year, I’m alternating between a series of 1920s books (Mysterious Arts) and books dealing with the Second World War (the Land Mysteries series).

  • Land Mysteries,  Mysterious Powers,  Novellas

    What I got up to in 2022

    It is the time of year where a roundup of what I did seems useful for a variety of reasons. (Come back next week for what’s coming in 2023!)

    The cover of Best Foot Forward, displayed on a phone, resting on a mess of papers with a letter sealed with wax. The cover has a deep red background with map markings in a dull purple. Two men in silhouette stand, looking up at a point in the top left. An astrology chart with different symbols picked out takes up the left side of the image, with glowing stars curving up to the title.

    What came out in 2022

    I put out four novels, two novellas, and a substantial extra in 2022. That’s a lot! Links here that aren’t the title (in the header) will take you to my public wiki. There you can see more details about people and places.

  • Announcements,  Mysterious Powers,  Novellas

    Forged in Combat is out!

    I’m delighted to share Forged in Combat, a prequel novella for the Mysterious Powers series. It’s the romance of Arthur and Melusina, parents of Roland in Carry On. It takes place mostly in 1882 in the Viceroy’s Palace in Calcutta.

    Cover of Forged in Combat on a grey background with a scattering silver stars. A man and a woman in silhouette on a teal green background. She is wearing a Victorian bustle dress, his clothing fits with military uniform of the time. A bright red hibiscus highlights the top corner of the cover.

    Melusina is building her own career as mistress of warding and protection magics. Arthur is following the well-trod traditions of his family in the Army. When Melusina takes on an assignment to help with a tricky safe problem in the Viceroy’s office, they find themselves collaborating – and more than collaborating.

    • Competence
    • Navigating social expectations
    • Difficult colleagues
    • A strategically useful bustle
    • Reevaluating assumptions
    • Lock picks
    • Sparking passion

    Get a copy from your favourite ebook retailer!

  • Announcements

    Surprise! Giveaway

    (This giveaway is over! It ended on Tuesday, December 13th, 2022. Thank you so much for everyone who joined us!)

    Do you love jewellery? Do you know someone who does?

    My dear friend Elise Matthesen is an amazing jewellery maker – and also a lover of my books. She’s offered a delightful giveaway, with a short timeframe. One lucky person will win an item from Elise’s shop (based on your answers to question 2).

    [giveaway details removed]

    More about Elise

    Elise won the Hugo Award (a major award in the Science Fiction and Fantasy fandom community) as a Fan Artist in 2020. Her pieces are in the collections of quite a few authors, musicians, artists, and other creative folk. Many of us have a custom of picking up something from Elise for a major achievement in our creative lives.

    If you’re a fan of Lois McMaster Bujold, as I am, Elise both designed Lois’s award pin collar and makes planet pendants similar to those referenced in the Vorkosigan books at one point.

    Here’s a few samples of Elise’s previous work. Again, check out the shop for the current delights!

    I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Elise for more than 20 years, so as you might imagine, I have quite a few of her pieces by now!

    The necessary giveaway details

    By entering, you understand that if you are the winner, I will be sharing your email address with Elise to make arrangements about getting the piece you have won.

    Elise ships regularly, but depending on where you are in the world, the piece may not make it to you in time for holiday gift-giving.

    No reading of books or purchasing of anything is required, but we certainly hope you enjoy thinking about wonderful things to read and look at!

  • Albion,  Writing and publishing

    The naming of characters is a difficult matter

    (Look, I couldn’t resist the T.S. Eliot reference, I’m only human.)

    To be more serious, the names of characters are something I spend a lot of time thinking about. I got a great reader question about it this week, and that makes it a wonderful time to share some of how I do this.

    To be honest, there’s a lot of staring at my list of names and sighing a lot. But I also have established patterns that help me sort out what I’m doing with the names.

    (As a note, links to character names in this post will go to their WorldAnvil pages so you can see where they appear most easily.)

    Cover of Eclipse displayed on a tablet, resting on a pine bough, surrounded by wood five-pointed stars.
    Eclipse is a great example of several different naming patterns in my books.
  • Announcements,  Writing and publishing

    Where are you, online? (Looking at some social media options)

    Hello! Given the world (and especially the Internet at the moment), it seems a good time for me to look at where I’m spending my time online in the authorial sense.

    I’ve put together a survey form to ask some questions about what spaces you’d be interested in, so I can think about some options. I expect to get whatever new options I add set up by the end of December 2022 at the latest. (ETA, December 20th: Survey form now closed. Watch this blog space for an update on what we’re going to be trying!)

    It’s completely anonymous unless you give me your email address at the very end. You can also use the contact form or email me at celia@celialake.com if you’d rather do that.

    Cover of Fool's Gold displayed on a tablet, set on a desk with a pink rose, a fountain pen, a jar of ink, and paper.
    Robin does love his fountain pens. Not so good for online communication, though…

    Where I am right now online

    I send out a newsletter on most Fridays. It has my latest news, a highlight of a book that’s been out for a bit, links to any blog posts I’ve made, and notes about the week’s writing. It also usually includes a couple of links I discovered while researching that week.

    Twitter is the place where I’ve shared more flippant commentary on the writing process, often with some back and forth with Kiya, my friend and editor (and other half of my brain who makes my books so much better.) If you haven’t been following this bit of the news, I’m not sure how much longer that’s going to be viable. I’ve also shared links to new books there or other news.

    I’ve really enjoyed some of the conversation with readers there, and seeing what they say, too, when they tag me in to the conversation.

    Facebook is the place where I spend the least time, but it also gets announcements of new books and other related material.

  • Announcements,  Land Mysteries

    Best Foot Forward is out!

    Best Foot Forward is the one Kiya (my friend and editor) described as “M/M aroace/bi-allo-(incidentally polyam) enemies-to-it’s-complicated there-was-only-one-bed espionage and WWI trauma-healing romp”.

    Cover of Best Foot Forward displayed on a phone, resting on folded golden linen with a mug of coffee. Yellow flowers lie on a book with Scrabble tiles spelling out "spring is in the air". The cover has a deep red background with map markings in a dull purple. Two men in silhouette stand, looking up at a point in the top left. An astrology chart with different symbols picked out takes up the left side of the image, with glowing stars curving up to the title.

    Best Foot Forward also contains:

    • Vienna and Berlin in 1935
    • The power of spring
    • Healing and becoming who we were meant to be
    • Love of music
    • Egyptian theology
    • Land magic and the good it can do
    • Chosen family

    Music turned out to be a big part of this book, so there’s an additional playlist and explanation of the music references. (It does contain spoilers for the book, but there’s a link in the author’s notes to remind you to go look and listen, or from the book page here on my website or on the authorial wiki.)

    Land Mysteries

    Best Foot Forward

    Buy now!
    Best Foot Forward