What I am listening to: “The Christmas Song” Nat King Cole (1961)
It’s certainly been a busy year for me, writing-wise:
The biggest news: Vagabondage Press/Strange Fictions Press published THE MIDSUMMER WIFE (Book 1 of the Heirs to Camelot) on Midsummer Day, and it was briefly an Amazon best-seller in the “Arthurian” category.
THE MIDSUMMER WIFE follows a near future when the reincarnated souls of King Arthur, the wizard Merlin, and an anxiety-ridden pagan priestess who race to save Britain. Facing the destruction after a devastating nuclear attack on London, they must conquer an old foe: Morgaine. The descendants of Britain’s great men of legend have kept the myths and relics for sixty-one generations, but no one is quite clear on what they must do next. Nothing goes as planned: The complex obligations of reincarnation are straining old relationships, and Morgaine and her henchwomen are trying to kill them. Somehow, some way, they must make the Healing happen, or Britain is finished.
ISBN: 9781946050120; Strange Fiction Press; 270 pages; $16.95, ebook (ePub/Kindle) $3.95; Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance; available in paperback, Kindle & ePub formats
“Sex, magic, and power collide in this [Urban] Fantasy that begins when a devastating terrorist attack on modern London sparks the long-foretold return of King Arthur to heal Britain. Simonds boldly continues the Arthurian saga into the present day, as heirs to Arthur, Merlin, and the woman both men once loved struggle to understand and fulfill their destinies and outwit the sinister agenda of the sorceress Morgaine.” ~ Lisa Jensen, author Alias Hook and Beast: A Love Story
“Imaginative, mesmerizing, and emotionally complex, Simonds’ unique story boldly expands the Arthurian legend into exciting new territory. The fantastical elements—rituals from old Celtic religions, dark magic, forces of fate—are well drawn and skillfully integrated into a contemporary setting. And then there’s the romance… the palpable chemistry between Ava and Ron (the Arthur heir), complicated by their respective destinies, makes their relationship a riveting read.” ~Mary Fan, author of Starswept and Artificial Absolutes
The 4 and 5 star reviews have been really spiffy:
“This is overall an interesting concept and a well written fantasy novel. Arthurian Legend fans will not be disappointed in this new addition to their world.” ~ Paranormal Romance Review Team
“This is an Arthurian legend for the newest generation. It was worth the read and I am looking forward to see what happens in novel two.”~From the Book Reviewers Desk, Destiny Bridwell
“ I think this was a great start to the series and I’m really curious to see what it is going from here. I am also curious to read the original telling of King Arthur to see what I am missing. Oh, I do have to say that I am absolutely in love with this cover. So beautiful and eye catching.” ~Jbrounder Reviews
Readers have said:
Overall, interesting setting and complex, rich characters in fresh look at the legendary once-and-future king. ~Jeanette
“Ava, [Harper], and Ron have a lot of power, but each of them is deeply flawed. Their flaws hinder their ability to trust one another and more importantly to trust themselves. This makes them human and more interesting. Their flaws become more crippling toward the climax of the book, but this doesn’t make them seem less like real people.” ~ Ducky
““The Midsummer Wife” is a novel where the known facts of the Arthurian legend are brought into a modern-day fantasy setting in a unique and completely convincing manner. It is an enjoyable book, recommended to a wide range of readers.” ~ Judith
Published in September was THE PRIESTESS OF CAMELOT, a prequel to the Heirs of Camelot series. It follows the life of Anya, a priestess of the Rus as she leaves her home country and arrives in Britain. There she joins the sisterhood of Avalon, headed by the scheming Morgaine. When Anya runs afoul of the Avalonian high priestess she is sent to Camelot to spy on the court while acting as the healer. But she falls in love with both Merlin and King Arthur. When she leaves the court to become Merlin’s woman, she takes part in the most audacious plan to return Goddess worship to Britain: the Holy Grail. In the end, she loses both great men, but gains sons by them and a daughter by the Goddess. With rituals and relics, and writing down the stories of the times, Anya creates a structure that will endure 1500 years to save Britain from a future that terrifies her. [Referred to in the series as “the Book of Anya.”] THE PRIESTESS OF CAMELOT is filled with love and mystical experiences that will thrill readers of Arthurian lore.
ISBN: 9780463610251 in paper, $16.99. ePub & Mobi formats (B07HSYTNRT) $3.99; Strange Fiction Press/Vagabondage Press; 349 pages; Arthurian Historical Fantasy; available in Kindle & ePub formats
“Drawing on the rich panoply of British history, myths and legends, The Priestess of Camelot weaves its tapestry from threads of traditional tales and imaginative fiction. [The book blends] Celtic mystery, magic, romance, and spiritual growth, with dark-age dangers, intrigue, and lust for revenge. A unique and refreshing take on the Arthurian story. Follow it with your heart.”~ E.M. Swift-Hook, co-author of the Dai and Julia alternate history mysteries.
Readers have said:
“What a wonderful Arthurian era story. Dramatic and realistic, this book will have you totally entranced in this unique version of Arthur and Merlin. The characters seem real and the detail written makes you feel like you are there experiencing it all. A wonderful read that I highly recommend.” ~ Myla
“This is an interesting tale on the Arthurian era. I really enjoyed following along as the mistakes of past were trying to be remade. Twists and turns abound with all the drama and suspense that keeps you on your toes. The characters and their personalities are so realistic and believable.” ~ Kaye
“A different perspective on the Arthurian Legend. Interesting and engaging.Well worth the read.” ~ Trish
I was featured in the Reno News and Review
I was also interviewed or featured on :
Gotta Write Network
Galaxy of Authors
Mary Fan’s Blog
JCSteel/Galaxy of Authors
The Protagonist Speaks (as Ava Cerdwen, the MC of THE MIDSUMMER WIFE)
Mary Woldering’s Blog
and both covers were praised on the EBook Cover Design Awards
I participated in the Reno Barnes & Noble Local Author Event in November, and sold out of copies of THE PRIESTESS OF CAMELOT, and most of THE MIDSUMMER WIFE.
The first of the month, I submitted Book 2 of the series, THE SOLSTICE BRIDE to the editor. We are hoping to launch it by March 2019. I’m looking for beta readers and author endorsements! Interested? Ping me in the comments below.
I’m finishing work on MISTRESS OF THE ROSE MOON, the last book in the series, and hope to publish that by Midsummer Day 2019. I’m looking for beta readers! Interested? Ping me in the comments below.
Lastly, I am considering three book projects to begin in 2019. All of them are interesting, but the plots haven’t quite gelled in my mind. I’ll let you know as things develop!
I hope the year was good for you as well. Here’s hoping for an even better 2019!