Shameless, Allison, shameless.

Dear readers, I am going to make a shameless plug for myself now and I promise you, I won’t burden this space with annoyingly frequent uRaven&Bonepdates about this business… But….

I wrote a book, witches. I wrote a book and I did something absolutely terrifying: I entered it in Geek and Sundry’s Inkshares contest. I confess that I practically threw up when I put the news out on Facebook last week and I feel a bit itchy about asking you for support as well, but Amanda Palmer says that as artists we should ask for help, so I’m asking:

Please help me get Raven and Bone published.

To win the contest in needs to be in the top 3 by November 1st. The way to vote is to pre-order. If I don’t win, you get your money back. If I do, you get the book. I would really love for Raven and Bone to get out there in the world and if I don’t win, but there are lots of people interested, I may give another route a try, but it would be lovely to have Inkshares do the hard lifting on marketing, etc.

I started writing Raven and B11132103415_7dd94ed2f1_oone almost four years ago when a friend on Tumblr posted a wickedly chilling true crime story. In 1943, four boys tromped through Hagley Woods, in the English Midlands, hoping to poach some bird’s eggs. Instead of eggs, they found a human skull.

When the police went to extract the skeleton from the tree, they found it had actually grown around the bones. This led them to believe the body had been placed there while it was still warm. If that’s not creepy enough, they found that one of the body’s hands had been severed and buried near the tree.

Shortly after the body’s removal, someone began began writing “Who put Bella in the wych elm?” in the surrounding area. Many theories have circulated about who killed Bella. My favorite though, is that a cult of witches might have killed her as a part of a dark ritual.

Raven and SkullIt’s not surprising that I would latch onto this tale. I love urban legends, true crime and above all else: witches. In my mind, I watched the boys find the skull through someone’s eyes who knew the body might be there to begin with, someone who didn’t want anyone else to find it. I sensed that another watched that someone, and that Bella was a part of a larger story.

That’s when Ava showed up. A witch with anxiety, a lot of anger and a past so dark it’s kept her running for centuries. And at first she came with two pretty typical urban fantasy counterparts: a shapeshifter named Lex and a vampire named Vivienne. But things went sideways pretty quickly for me as I started writing their story. As a result, Raven and Bone is a sprawling genre mash-up: Part dark fantasy, part portal fantasy, part paranormal romance. A little bit scary, a little bit sexy, a lotta bit dark.

Not sure about Raven and Bone? You can read the prologue right now, and then decide. I’ll be releasing chapters periodically throughout the contest to reward my supporters.

A million times thank you, even if you don’t pre-order R&B. I just love ya all a million for sticking with us here at CBC.

Allison

P.S. I made the book cover for R&B myself, as well as these nifty little images, using images The British Library put online via Flickr. Check it out.

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