Hi friends! Just wanted to let you all know that I am having a Street Team for Sisters of Sword & Song, and everyone who would like to join can sign up and be a member of The Legion.
The first 75 readers who sign up will receive a digital ARC of the book via a website called Edelweiss; everyone thereafter will receive the first three chapters as a PDF file.
The missions will officially begin on May 19, and will lead up to release date of June 23. There will be prizes up for grabs for each of the missions.
It is my hope that this team will be a source of joy and light and connection and friendship during this tough time of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am thinking of you all, and hope above all that you and you loved ones are safe and well.
I am excited to share Evadne’s and Halcyon’s story with you.
I realize it’s woefully been well over a year since I 1) published a blog post on here 2) updated my website. If you commented on a post months ago, I am so sorry it took me so long to reply! Maintaining a website has been a new experience for me, and I’ve had to learn a lot along the way because I truly lack the knack for technological things. But…if there is a silver lining here, I would say my lack of activity and updates here means I have been investing my attention and time elsewhere, mainly in writing new projects and traveling.
Here’s a quick highlight reel of 2019:
THE QUEEN’S RESISTANCE was published on March 5, 2019
It was surreal and exciting to see my duology come to its conclusion. I had an amazing Street Team, and I also had a launch party at Avid Bookshop in Athens, GA. It was a night to remember. I did a virtual signing with Good Choice Reading, and got to sign so many pre-order copies for my readers (pictured below).
A week after pub date, my editor emailed me to let me know that The Queen’s Resistance was on the YA Hardcover Bookscan Bestseller list for the week of 3/9/19. I was completely shocked by this news, and of course excited and thankful for my readers who showed up for the book, whether it was by pre-ordering, leaving a review on retail sites, and/or featuring my books on their social media. If you are one of those amazing readers…thank you! Those seemingly small actions add up to be so important and vital for authors and the longevity of our unpredictable careers.
I went on an Epic Reads Meet Up Tour
I got to visit St. Louis, Missouri and Nashville, Tennessee in the company of some fantastic writers.
On the last day of April, I finished my first Adult Fantasy Manuscript
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen me post updates about this book, which I dubbed my “secret project 21.” I am very excited about this novel, and I hope to share more details and updates about it soon!
I also began to draft the sequel to this novel during the summer (dubbed my “fire project”), and got around 70,000 words in before I had to shift gears. But for the most part, I know exactly where I’m heading with this duology, and I know the final line and it still gives me chills when I think about it.
These characters truly found me when I needed them most, and I wrote these novels for myself, which is honestly a hard thing to do after you’ve had a publishing deal, when expectations and worries and contracts start to weigh down your imagination and productivity. You want to write a book that your readers and fans will love, a book that will sell, a book that your editor will adore, but also something that speaks to you in the moment, something you love and are proud of. It can be a difficult dance to discover.
So, I think it’s safe to say these two novels were like beacons and light to me all throughout the highs and lows of 2019. Even if they never land a publishing deal and no one other than my agent and my critique partners ever reads them…they mean the world to me.
All throughout summer and autumn, I finished my last round of edits for SISTERS OF SWORD & SONG.
The cover was finally revealed, which I am SO IN LOVE WITH. It was exactly what I was envisioning for this book. The illustration is by Kate O’Hara, and the handlettering is by Molly Fehr.
I think what delights me the most is how everything on the cover (and the back cover too, which is just as exquisite) ties into this story of the two heroines, Evadne and Halcyon. Evadne, who becomes a scribe, and Halcyon, who is a warrior in the queen’s army, are both descendants of the fallen god of the wind. Wings and flight play vital themes in the story. The girls also grew up in an ancestral olive grove, which their family still tends and cares for.
I held this book in printed form for the first time in November when my ARCs (advance reader copies) arrived and it was surreal. I might have breathed in the scent of the pages and gotten teary eyed, and it’s not even the final version! (Those should arrive on my threshold within the next two months or so!).
I’m currently preparing to launch a Street Team, so that’s been keeping me busy in 2020. But I digress…
Perhaps one of the biggest highlights of my 2019 was this one right here:
I visited Mexico for the Guadalajara International Book Festival, to celebrate the release of La Resistencia de la Reina!
It was my first time in Mexico, and it was one of those trips that I always dreamt of but never truly expected to happen–being invited by one of my foreign publishers for a book event. I honestly felt like I was dreaming most of the time!
Not only did I get to meet some amazing readers and sign their books (one reader was dressed up in one of the BEST Brienna cosplays I have ever seen!), I also got to meet my Spanish editor, Leo. It’s always a special moment when an author gets to meet the team of people behind her books, and I was so honored to meet Dalil, Evelyn and Larissa, who work for Urano, my Spanish publisher, and most of all were kindred spirits. I felt like I had known them for years!
The lovely Shea Ernshaw was also with me (my first time meeting her!) and if you have not read The Wicked Deep or Winterwood…what are you waiting for!?
It was a special trip, and was the perfect way to conclude my 2019. I hope to return to Mexico again soon, because it is a beautiful place.
The last thing of 2019 I worked on…
Was my next young adult fantasy. This will be my fourth published YA novel, and I began drafting it literally on Thanksgiving Day, and tried to work on it as much as I could before I flew off to Mexico in December. When I returned from my trip, I knew I needed to buckle down and draft this book as quickly as I could (it was due to my editor by mid-January). Drafting is typically my favorite part of writing a novel, and I hit a few hard, slow days but I somehow got this book complete and sent off on time!
I’m very very excited about this novel, and it should be announced soon (like…I’m hoping in the next few weeks), but until then, here is what I can say about it:
It’s a stand-alone novel
It’s a young adult fantasy
There’s revenge, magicians, mirrors and nightmares
There’s also an enemies-to-lovers romance
It’s on schedule to publish summer 2021
More to come soon, I promise!
Final thoughts on 2019:
It was a good year. A busy year. A productive year. It was also a hard year in my personal life. But when I look back on it…I see how I grew, not just in my writing and my craft, but in experiences and courage and strength and resiliency.
I hope your 2019 was good to you, and that 2020 (wow, I cannot even believe it’s already MARCH!!) will also bring wonderful things into your life.
Something very exciting happened last week! Kathryn from Blissfully Bookish Company designed t-shirts inspired by TQR! I am so honored that I got to collaborate with her, and I am simply amazed by how gorgeous her designs are. The collection is now up for sale and you can purchase your shirt here: https://blissfullybookish.com/collections/boyfriend-tees?page=4
Back in 2017, a year before my debut was to hit shelves, I made a little handy passion quiz. For the most part, I think it’s quite accurate (I did test it on my sisters and my literary agent and they agreed with their results…) And I thought it was about time to find and resurrect it for THE QUEEN’S RISING paperback release today!
I’m hosting a giveaway for a signed paperback copy of THE QUEEN’S RISING on my Instagram right now, and, as a bonus entry, you can take this quiz and share in your Instagram stories which passion you are (just make sure you tag me @beccajross so I see it).
Without further ado, here’s the quiz. And remember, this is like the Sorting Hat at Hogwarts: you are always free to choose which passion you want to follow, no matter the results. 🙂
Hello, hello! I am very excited to unveil the preorder campaign for my second book, THE QUEEN’S RESISTANCE! I have been planning this for months, and I hope you all will enjoy what I have in store for you. Read on for the details & to learn how to enter.
FOR EVERYONE WHO PREORDERS A COPY OF THE QUEEN’S RESISTANCE:
You will receive a PDF file of The Passion Sister Letters. This is content that was deleted from the very first draft of The Queen’s Rising. And I know so many of my readers wonder about Brienna’s passion sisters, especially after the solstice when each of the girls go their own way. These letters (which are addressed to Brienna, written by her sisters) will give you a little glimpse into what life is like for the girls post solstice.
The PDF will include:
A letter from Ciri
A letter from Abree
A letter from Oriana
A letter from Sibylle
A letter from Merei
I also want to open up this part of the campaign for readers who are unable to purchase a copy of my book. I know how budgets and paychecks can be (and how us bookworms sometimes have to limit ourselves to what we can buy versus what we can borrow). If you cannot afford to preorder my book, you can still receive The Passion Sister Letters by going to your local library and requesting The Queen’s Resistance. If you do, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know the name and address of the library you requested my book at (but more about that below).
ONE GRAND PRIZE WINNER, RANDOMLY DRAWN, WILL RECEIVE THE FOLLOWING:
1. Brienna’s Book of Knowledge. Okay, so when I saw this little journal on Etsy, I knew one of my readers needed to win it. Inside, you will find hardcopies of the five passion sister letters, as well as a few pages of ephemera, in case you want to transform this into your own junk journal.
2. Two Young Living Essential Oil Rollers. I am super excited to include these two rollers in my grand prize! One of the rollers is called “Valor” and is made of Black Spruce, Camphor Wood, Geranium, Blue Tansy and Frankincense essential oils. The second roller (which is clear) is my own favorite “Writing Blend” and is infused with Peppermint, Lavender and Northern Lights Black Spruce. I diffused these oils when I was revising The Queen’s Resistance, and to this day they still make me think of Maevana. They also helped keep my mind sharp and focused when I was revising. My friend Aly is a Young Living distributer (you can find her @essentially_aly on Instagram) has teamed up with me to provide these two rollers, and they are amazing!
3. Swag! A portrait of Brienna and Cartier, made by Yara Noe, and a beautiful woodmark made by Paris of Ink & Wonder Designs.
4. Your very own passion cloak. Color depends on which passion you would choose (red cloak = art, purple cloak = music, green cloak = wit, black cloak = dramatics blue cloak = knowledge). Here’s a picture of me and my sisters from TQR’s launch party, so you can get an idea of what the cloak would look like (they are sporting the blue and the red cloaks):
HOW TO ENTER:
Preorder The Queen’s Resistance from any retailer (Good Choice Reading, your local Independent Bookstore, Amazon, B&N, etc) orrequest The Queen’s Resistance at your local library beforeMarch 5, 2019. Email me at email@example.com. To be a valid entry, please include the following:
1. Your First and Last Name
2. Your mailing address (if you preordered the book and want to be eligible for the grand prize drawing)
3. The name and address of the library you requested The Queen’s Resistance at (if you did not preorder & still want to receive The Passion Sister Letters).
4. Your Proof of Purchase (this can be a forwarded email, a screenshot, an image of your receipt, etc).
A FEW IMPORTANT THINGS TO NOTE:
Hardbacks, paperbacks (such as the U.K. edition), audiobooks and electronic books are all included in the preorder campaign but please note that you must have a proof of purchase to be eligible for the grand prize. I know, for example, that Audible supplies its users with a few free audiobooks. If you choose The Queen’s Resistance as your free download, it will not be elligible for the grand prize drawing. It would not be fair to other entrants who do purchase the copy of my book.
For a valid entry for the grand prize drawing, a proof-of-purchase and entrant’s mailing address must be emailed to preorder campaign admin (Rebecca Ross) at firstname.lastname@example.org by 11:59 PM EST on March 4, 2019. All international entries are welcome and included!
For a valid entry for The Passion Sister Letters only, the name and address of the library the entrant has requested the book at must be emailed to preorder campaign admin (Rebecca Ross) at email@example.com by 11:59 PM EST on March 4, 2019.
Preorder campaign is open internationally to all readers 13+ in age
By entering, you are confirming that you are 13 or older, and giving the admin (Rebecca Ross) the permission to contact you via email and to mail you the grand prize should you win the drawing.
Following a valid entry, the reader will receive via email a PDF file of The Passion Sister Letters, which will include 5 letters total. One preorder entrant will be randomly drawn for the grand prize and will receive, in the mail, the following: Brienna’s Book of Knowledge, two essential oil rollers, swag that includes a portrait of Brienna and a portrait of Cartier and a Woodmark, and one passion cloak (the color of their choosing).
The winner of the grand prize will be drawn on March 5. If you win, you will be notified by me via email.
The Passion Sister Letters will be sent out via email on March 5.
Calling all readers and bloggers who loved The Queen’s Rising!
I am so excited to announce that I am creating a Street Team for The Queen’s Resistance! I have 20 spots open for fans who loved The Queen’s Rising and want to help me celebrate and spread the word about the release of The Queen’s Resistance on March 5.
But first, what is a Street Team? A Street Team is a group of fans who help an author spread the word about their book. This can be anything from posting about it on social media to requesting the book at your local library to writing reviews to hosting giveaways. There are many different ways an author can organize a Street Team, but the heart of the concept is to unite fans to raise awareness and love and excitement for their book.
I have four things I would like my Street Team to help me with:
1. Post something on your social media related to either The Queen’s Rising or the The Queen’s Resistance (this can be anything from a quote graphic, a picture of the map, a regram of any of my pictures, etc.)
2. Request The Queen’s Resistance at your local bookstore and/or library
3. Post a picture on your social media of The Queen’s Rising and/or The Queen’s Resistance with the swag I send you when it arrives
4. Post a picture of The Queen’s Resistance during publication week (pub date is March 5)
If you loved The Queen’s Rising and are eager and ecstatic and excited for The Queen’s Resistance and want to help me spread the word with these four things, then I would absolutely LOVE for you to sign up for the Street Team!
What You’ll Receive From Me:
I’ve created a gift for each one of my Street Team members, as a way to thank you for sharing posts about The Queen’s Resistance on your social media and requesting my book at your local library/bookstore. This gift provides you with some beautiful swag to enjoy and you can also utilize it to spread the word about The Queen’s Resistance. Here is what you will receive from me:
1. Two character portraits. One of Brienna and one of Cartier, made by artist Yara Noë
2. A gorgeous woodmark with a quote from The Queen’s Resistance, created by Paris of Ink and Wonder Designs
3. Your very own constellation, hand painted by me, created uniquely for you
4. And ahandwritten letter from me
How to Sign Up:
I have a link for a Google Doc at the end of this post that I need you to fill out and submit. You must fill out the application and submit it by Tuesday January 22 at 11:59 EST to be considered. If you are selected to be a part of the team, I will notify you by email. I only have the resources for 20 spots. Depending on the number of applications I receive, there may be some applicants who are not chosen, and I just want to say that I am so grateful for everyone who applies! Selecting a team can be hard, especially when you have so many amazing readers. I also want to add that I am not just looking for applicants who have huge a huge following. What I want is a team of people who are enthusiastic and who love my books.
A quick note about international readers:
I know that I have some wonderful readers overseas, and I want to include you if you are interested in the Street Team! Due to shipping costs, I can only open up 3 spots for international readers. But again, it’s important to me and I want to include you, so if you are an international reader and want to sign up, please do!
One Last Note:
Thank you, readers. Thank you for all of the love, time and support you have given to me and my books. I am so grateful for you, and I want you to know I could not do this without you. Every post, every review, every message, every recommendation truly means more to me than you can ever know. Thank you!
Also, check out Paris’ website: https://www.inkandwonder.com.au She has soooo many gorgeous woodmarks and other wondrous things available to purchase. And The Queen’s Resistance woodmark will be available to purchase from her shop in February!
I also want to credit Instagram blogger Bethany Grace for inspiring me to take these flower ombre pictures. If you’re on Instagram and are looking for a new beautiful account to follow, I highly recommend her profile! She is one of my favorite people on IG. Find her here: https://www.instagram.com/b.ethanygrace/