Tuesday, October 18, 2016

PERILOUS PROPHECY: A Strangely Beautiful series prequel is up for Pre-Order via Barnes & Noble!

DARLINGS! Behold! The gorgeous, spectacular cover of PERILOUS PROPHECY, A Strangely Beautiful Novel, the prequel previously known as The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess has now arrived. Newly revised and refreshed, Barnes & Noble did an exclusive cover reveal and it is NOW AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER! Releasing 6/20/17 from Tor Books! Isn't it beautiful! Be sure to preorder a copy in trade paperback or digital!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Hold On To The Light blog: Art as Healer

I want to thank the wonderful and inspiring Gail Martin, who I signed beside at Larry Smith Booksellers at DragonCon for a thrilling hour, for letting me know about the Hold On to The Light campaign for mental wellness. She’s as delightful and powerful as her books.

Being involved with this is fitting, because phrases about holding on to the light have been my exact inscription on most of the books I’ve signed for readers, or variations therein. Holding onto light, both figurative and literal, is the crux of my entire STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL series.

So I’ve had a dark side all my life. That in and of itself is nothing to fear, I revel in a Halloween-Town sort of life, I'm one of those "Perky Goths". However, dressing all in black since my teen years aside, I have had intense periods where I’ve struggled with specific kinds of depression.

The course of my life’s work has been to find ways to dive into tumultuous, deep, treacherous psychological waters and navigate them in a way that is useful, helpful, healthy and societally constructive. My books are the result of that journey. I myself struggle to find words. But my characters are my mediums, and they channel what I want and need to say in a (hopefully) entertaining and engaging way.

Here’s a brief section illustrating why I’ve found a haven in Goth and Gothic culture and literature, and why I will always be an artist lifting up these themes, a premise that has been life-saving for me. I find my characters say it better than I can, so if you'll indulge them... 

This is a scene between Nathaniel Veil, a performer of Gothic drama and my steeled-mettle heroine Natalie Stewart in The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart:

"Well hello there," Mister Veil said appreciatively. "You're not one of my Association. That must make you the lovely Miss Stewart, Jonathon's girl. I was warned you'd be coming," he grinned, showcasing the fangs from a vampiric bit that he'd retained for the rest of his show.

“I am indeed Miss Stewart. The lovely part is up to you.”

Nathaniel laughed, putting fingers to his mouth. With one snap, the fangs were gone. Part of me was sad to see the illusion fade.

“You play a vampire, but do you believe in them?” I asked. "In all the characters and creatures you portray?"

Nathaniel considered this as he placed his teeth into a jar of faux incisors. "Vampires surely exist, in one way or another. Something that preys on human life? I’ve seen that well enough. Fantasy is the only way we can understand reality.” There was a darkness to his tone. A familiar one. “The world is full of devils and thieves, Miss Stewart. To make the darkness playful is the only way to survive it. We must externalize that which might kill us otherwise.”

I nodded. “Jonathon described you as unapologetically melancholy. I find it refreshing. I’ve terrible nightmares. They don't make for pleasant conversation. But life isn’t always pleasant, is it?”

Nathaniel shook his head, gauging me with an intensity that surpassed custom. It was thrilling and off-putting all at once. “Funny. Jonathon didn’t say I couldn't stand close to you. I’d have thought he knew me better.” He took a step closer. I could feel heat coming off his powerful form. Perhaps Jonathon only kept company with men who were, as he was: distinct, bold, and impossible to ignore…

“Is this what you say to all those young women there in the gallery, swaying in black-”

“My Association.”

 I raised an eyebrow. He explained:

 “We are united in melancholy, nothing more. We revel in it, turning our black hearts outward to find joy. We cannot remain in shadow's ecstasy always, so we must make a game of it. Would you like to join us? I'm not usually forthcoming with strangers. But, alas, you've disarmed me.”
Beaming, he produced a card. In bold, elegant script the card declared membership to:

 “Her Majesty’s Association for Melancholy Bastards.”

I couldn't help but chuckle. Turning over the card, it read:

President: Hamlet
Vice President: Edgar A. Poe
Social Chair: Mary Shelley
Secretary: Ophelia
Treasurer: Manfred, Lord of Otranto

Grinning, I looked up from the card to see Nathaniel looking rather pleased with himself. “Brilliant,” I agreed.

“Would you like to join?”

I gave him a wary look. “Is there a membership ritual?”

“I’ll forgo the bloodletting for you,” he said and laughed when I looked wary, gesturing that I keep the card. “Show this at the theatre door whenever I play, and they’ll let you into the pit. We’re self-selecting. We don’t want anyone making fun or starting trouble. It’s why there’s a dress code- grand dark aesthetic aside- it shows you want to play in the spirit of community and camaraderie.”

The way his art defined yet didn’t overwhelm him was wonderful. He didn’t take himself too seriously, which made me take him utterly so.

“Some are born with darkness," Nathaniel stated. "Some have darkness thrust upon them." He turned to his mirrors to wipe a bit of kohl from his eyes. “I hear you and Jonathon were put through quite the trial. He wasn't born with darkness, so it was thrust upon him. You?”

“Thrust upon me and always pressing in. You?”         

“Born with it,” he stated airily. "And when you're born with melancholy you learn how to live with it or else you die of it. Simple as that."

I knew it wasn't as simple as that. My disability proved that rising above challenges, no matter what kind, took discipline and ritual. Veil had figured out his ritual, and once learned, the discipline seemed simple. It was the work of a lifetime.

(end of excerpt)
***
In a much broader swath of thoughts and experiences, my ETERNA FILES series, the latest of which just released, ETERNA AND OMEGA, is a Gaslamp Fantasy series of Supernatural Suspense set in 1800s New York City and London. These books are made up of a wide spectrum of quirky characters from numerous diverse backgrounds. These characters deal with all kinds of issues and struggles, private and public, and for them, battling the paranormal helps them with battling their own internal demons.
I take the exact tack my character Mister Veil takes, in making difficult, trying and extreme themes, one’s own pit and pendulum, something to play with, understand and utilize, rather than letting it be the defining tone, trying never letting abject despair win without a good-natured fight.
My character of Clara Templeton is extremely close to my heart, as her struggles to find balance, internally and externally are carefully calibrated. She is sensitive on many levels, and her sense of purpose is a driving force in her character, as it is in my own. For her there are a lot of grey areas, and she navigates them only by finding a loving and supportive community of friends and chosen family, a “beloved community” that help to protect her even from a distance, as there are things some of us all must walk through and fight autonomously.
My work is dark, rich and complex, as no genre dealing with the kinds of psychological extremes that the Gothic posits should ever be less than complicated and fully realized, allowing for the full breadth of humanity’s capability. That’s how I deal with every struggle, I let it become part of my artistic understanding, trying never to allow ups and downs to rule me, trying to let a forward momentum of productive hope to power me and the atmospheric stories I tell.
I, like every one of my characters in all of my books, seek balance and autonomy, supportive, non-toxic systems and communities, and try to live in strength and hope, trying to enjoy life’s challenges rather than being scared of them or beholden to them.
Art is how I deal with the world and greet the world, it is my core identity entwined with a rock-solid faith in a loving, accepting deity. I try to actively avoid bitterness and negativity and keep my characters sensitive to and aware of those jagged rocks as well.
During this month of mental health awareness, I hope everyone finds positive and enjoyable ways to express their best selves, in safe spaces, filled with good humor, delight, and beauty. May you keep a lit candle of hope burning bright and kindle pride at fighting the good fight for peace.
Cheeers and as I always say... Happy Haunting!

Leanna Renee

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From the Hold On To the Light campaign: If you want to get even more hands-on, please consider donating to or volunteering for organizations dedicated to treatment and prevention such as: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Home for the Warriors (PTSD), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Canadian Mental Health Association, MIND (UK), SANE (UK), Beyond Blue (Australia), To Write Love On Her Arms and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

Visit the public FB group for other participating authors and information! 

Catching up: Interviews, Convention Recap and More!

Hello Dear Readers!

Goodness it’s been a whirlwind 6 weeks!
Beginning with an incredible final Authors After Dark in Savannah at the beginning of August, I went directly on to launch Eterna and Omega in my Cincinnati hometown, I then continued on a convention spree!
Next up I was a returning featured TempleCon guest in Rhode Island, a perennial favorite, where I presided over the High Tea and was asked to emcee the beautiful fashion show in addition to signing lots of books to a fantastic group of readers.

The next day, I went directly out to Chicago and then on to Milwaukee for a Boswell Books event with one of my favorite authors and a dear friend, Mary Robinette Kowal, who was presenting one of my favorite books of all time, her brilliant Ghost Talkers. Also joining us was Ada Palmer, whose incredible Too Like the Lightning really stunned us with its clever conceit and rich prose.

Here we are in period costumes appropriate to our work!
 
Then came the ever jaw-dropping DragonCon, where I was on a record 12 panels across the host venues! Many of these panels featured some of the most passionate and insightful commentary and questions I’ve encountered in all my years, I’m so blessed to be able to connect with such incredible fellow authors, track directors and the best fans in the whole wide world. Love y'all. Entirely selling out of books is a great feeling!
Leanna's on-site interview with GW Pomichter ⭐️ #spacecoastcomiccon #hangingwith #florida #eternafiles
Alethea Kontis captures me mid-interview
Then... southward bound with my beloved Alethea Kontis, the princess herself, to join Space Coast ComicCon in Florida, where the staff and fans are fantastic. I was approached to do a fun "Hangin’With" video interview with Garret Pomichter, found here, and had a lovely time.

In the midst of the convention run, because I'm always working, I also happened to be on a killer deadline for a very different and unique new project I’ll be able to announce later this month. I managed to turn that challenging project in, along with a few short stories and confirmations about another few anthologies I’m honored to be featured in, can't wait to announce those as well.

If you missed my epic Twitter rants about the ending of Penny Dreadful or missed my Facebook link to this post, I wrote a very important essay on Feminism and the Gothic that the fine folks at Fantasy Café asked me for. I put a lot of heart and soul into this one.

And because I just can't miss an opportunity to share my excitement about the latest books, I was interviewed for two podcasts of recent note and relevant interests:
And I was also able to join Jason Henderson on his Castle of Horror podcast for another lively discussion on Gothic Victorian settings and explaining just what, exactly, is Gaslamp Fantasy.

AND the wonderful Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador himself, is featuring me in an incredible multi-post interview! Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, more to come.
If you’ve missed me at any of my recent events, signed copies of ETERNA AND OMEGA can be found at the following locations:
Barnes and Noble, Streets of West Chester store, Cincinnati, Ohio
Barnes and Noble Union Square, NYC
Barnes and Noble 5th Avenue, NYC
Morris Jumel Mansion, NYC
Barnes and Noble Oglethorpe, Savannah, GA
Boswell Books, Milwaukee, WI
And signed, personalized books can always be ordered through my page at WORD Bookstore in NYC!
Or via my Etsy store!

Cheers, blessings, stay tuned for my “Hold On to the Light” post thanks to author Gail Z. Martin during Mental Health Awareness month.
Again, please, if you enjoy my work, please consider leaving an Amazon review and telling your friends about them! If enough people do, it helps ensure my series books will have future installments. As always,

Happy Haunting!

Leanna

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Leanna's DragonCon schedule!

And now: DragonCon panels! 

I'm doing a lot this year as usual, please note the Sideshow on Friday and my reading on Sunday are the best places to get books signed and buy new ones! I'll have copies of the new Strangely Beautiful, The Eterna Files, my new Eterna and Omega, some of my medals and jewelry and Pandora's Pets! See you there! Cheers!

Leanna Renee Hieber

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Title: Alternate History YA Author Roundtable
Description: Alternate History authors gather for a roundtable discussion on the challenges around writing Alternate History YA with regard to knowing your audience, world building, and the delicate balance of historic treatments of age, race, and gender, alongside good storytelling.
Time: Fri 11:30 am Location: 204 J - Mart2 (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Eric R. Asher, A. J. Hartley, Leanna Renee Hieber)

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Title: Back in Time: Historical Urban Fantasy
Description: Our panelists explore supernatural beings and magic occurring in historical real-world settings.
Time: Fri 02:30 pm Location: Chastain DE - Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Delilah S. Dawson, Clay and Susan Griffith, David B. Coe, Cherie Priest, Leanna Renee Hieber, James R. Tuck)

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Title: Penny Dreadful Fan Panel
Description: Penny Dreadful has ended its run after three seasons. So, what did we think of the series as a whole? Do we feel it was a successful finale?
Time: Fri 04:00 pm Location: Peachtree 1-2 - Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Michelle Belanger, James A. Moore, Cherie Priest, Catherine M. Scully, Leanna Renee Hieber)

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Title: Princess Alethea's Traveling Sideshow
Description: Join this motley band of talented (and costumed) authors for an entertaining hour of readings, musical numbers, and more. Swag for the first 40!
Time: Fri 07:00 pm Location: A707 - Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Alethea Kontis, Leanna Renee Hieber, E.C. Myers, Gray Rinehart, Mari Mancusi, S. J. Tucker)

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Title: Spiritualism and the Occult in Victorian Times
Description: While the Victorian era was a time of great technological advancement, many prominent citizens including Queen Victoria had a fascination with the occult. Come hear our panelists discuss spiritualism, seances, and the beginnings of serious scientific investigation into otherworldly phenomena.
Time: Fri 08:30 pm Location: 204 J - Mart2 (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Leanna Renee Hieber, Kathryn Hinds, Catherine M. Scully)

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Title: Writing for the Young Adult Market
Description: Since Harry Potter exploded on the young adult book scene, the market itself is on fire. How do writers take advantage of this challenging and lucrative market?
Time: Sat 07:00 pm Location: Embassy CD - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Leanna Renee Hieber, Mari Mancusi, Catherine M. Scully, Lou Anders, Eric R. Asher, Lindsay Cummings)

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Title: Phantom of the Opera: Music, Masks, and Madness
Description: The legacy of Gaston Leroux’s immortal novel and its many adaptations.
Time: Sat 08:30 pm Location: Chastain I - Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: L. Andrew Cooper, John L. Flynn, Leanna Renee Hieber, Corvis Nocturnum)

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Title: Living with the Dead: Ghosts, Spirits & Necromancers in UF
Description: Our panel explores ghosts, spirits and those who communicate with them.
Time: Sat 10:00 pm Location: Chastain DE - Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Eric R. Asher, Leanna Renee Hieber, Myke Cole, Jonathan L Howard, David B. Coe, E.J. Stevens)

-------------------
Title: Reading: Leanna Renee Hieber 
Time: Sun 01:00 pm Location: Vinings - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Leanna Renee Hieber)

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Title: Genre-Bending--Making it Work for You
Description: Great ideas sometimes splatter across genre divisions. How can it work to your benefit? How can you turn that great idea into a great novel?
Time: Sun 05:30 pm Location: Embassy CD - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Lee Martindale, Lois H. Gresh, Leanna Renee Hieber, Richard Kadrey)

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Title: Bride of Dreadpunk
Description: In 2015, some fans of Victorian Horror screwed around for an hour. One year later, we grapple with the question: what the hell is dreadpunk?
Time: Sun 08:30 pm Location: Peachtree 1-2 - Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Leanna Renee Hieber, Cherie Priest, Jonathan L Howard)

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Title: The Dark Side of Alternate History
Description: One of the enduring tropes of steampunk is its unflagging optimism. Yet many alternate histories and historical fantasies have darker views of events. Steampunk zombies, alternate apocalypses and intrigue abound, and this panel explores what happens when optimism gives way to a darker reality.
Time: Mon 11:30 am Location: 204 J - Mart2 (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Michael J. Martinez, Chandra Free, Leanna Renee Hieber, James R. Tuck)‎

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Happy Book Birthday to my latest Gothic, Gaslamp Fantasy ETERNA AND OMEGA, now available from Tor!


Happy Book Birthday to Eterna and Omega, the exciting follow up to The Eterna Files, a gritty, Gothic, Gaslamp fantasy set in 1882 New York and London as two paranormal investigative teams are pitted against each other by a dark force and must begin to work together for the sake of their cities.
Kirkus Reviews has named Eterna and Omega an August release not to miss! Now available wherever books are sold, in digital and hardcover! Signed copies are available at WORD in Brooklyn! I also signed copies for the Barnes & Noble Oglethorpe / Savannah, GA store!
Events: There’s a launch event, reading and signing tonight at Barnes & Noble West Chester, Ohio at 7pm! If you’re a Cincinnati local and can’t make it tonight, signed copies will be available. In NYC, another incredible event, reading, ghost-tour and fashion presentation (come in your gothic / steampunk best for a costume contest) at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Manhattan, August 11th at 7pm! Tickets $15 at door, proceeds go to the Mansion’s ongoing restoration fund and includes wine, soda, food and other perks!
If you missed my FREE Eterna prequel novella “The Spark”, it’s here via the Tor / Forge Blog, no download necessary, just click! It’s a great way to get into the series and hook your friends!
Again, your support of my latest series from Tor is so very important to me, first week sales are really critical to the survival of a series and please tell your friends! Get involved by writing a review, let me know your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter and as always, thank you so much and Happy Haunting!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Kirkus Recommends Eterna and Omega, Booksmugglers Giveaway, Launch Parties and more!

Hello Darlings!

I'm thrilled Kirkus Reviews noted ETERNA & OMEGA as an August release not to miss! And I'm in with some incredible company, like Mary Robinette Kowal's GHOST TALKERS, which is a brilliant novel that I utterly adore and I think all of my readership will feel the same way.

And the fine folks at THE BOOKSMUGGLERS have hosted an exclusive video where I discuss my passions for the Victorian era and share some ETERNA tidbits. Plus, Tor Books is hosting a giveaway! Please enjoy these links and go enter to win!

Upcoming Appearances / Launch Parties:

I'm reporting in from the final Authors After Dark convention in Savannah, GA, this convention is so filled with wonderful readers and authors, its always like a family reunion. If you're in the area and not already an attendee, come to the open-to-the-public signing on Saturday from 12-4pm! I'll have Eterna Files, Strangely Beautiful, AND Eterna & Omega available to sign, as well as some of my jewelry!

AUGUST 9TH: Cincinnati, OH, 7PM

Hometown launch at Barnes & Noble West Chester, OH (The Streets of West Chester) 7pm, reading, signing, refreshments, after-party!

AUGUST 11TH: New York City, 7PM

The incredible Morris-Jumel Mansion, New York's oldest house (where Aaron Burr lived, calling all Hamilton geeks!) has recently been restored, and you simply must join us for a grand night of ETERNA & OMEGA reading, signing, the debut of the Eterna-inspired accessory line from Wormwood & Gall, wine, soda, food, ghost stories and a tour of the mansion. Tickets are $15 at the door, and ETERNA & OMEGA will be sold at a discount! Proceeds will go to the mansion's ongoing restoration fund. Please come in your finest Gothic, Neo-Victorian or Fantastical, Steampunk attire to be entered into Wormwood & Gall's costume contest with great prizes!

Can't join us in person? Procure signed copies at WORD BOOKSTORE in Brooklyn, an incredible independent bookstore that is vital to the community and to authors in kind! Please note how you would like the book personalized in the notes / comments section!

Don't forget to check out my FREE Eterna Files prequel novella, THE SPARK! And share with friends to get them hooked on this series!

Cheers and Happy Haunting!


Thursday, July 28, 2016

In which Leanna discusses ETERNA AND OMEGA and her reincarnate Victorian spirit!


In which Leanna discusses ETERNA AND OMEGA, the exciting sequel to THE ETERNA FILES, and the ways in which she considers herself a reincarnate Victorian, clothes and all. Enjoy and share with friends and anyone interested in Historical Fantasy!