Finished writing my newest novel!

Today, although summer’s around the corner, I’ve been swept away by the autumn spirit . . . partly because of the gloriously dreary weather we’ve been having here in Amarillo lately (overcast and rainy days are a rare occurrence indeed!), but much more because I FINALLY FINISHED WRITING MY WiP, MYSTIQUIEL, a young adult urban fantasy set during the Halloween season! 🎃👻

Fun facts:

  • This is book one of a duology. The working title is “Mystiquiel: Of Rust and Ruin”
  • Premise: On Halloween night, seventeen-year-old Phoenix Loring, an amateur graphic novelist still grieving the death of her sister, steps from modern-day Astoria, Oregon into a portal—leading to a dark fairyland that appears to be born of her own imagination—where she must face a mercurial goblin king’s maze to rescue the people she loves. 😈👑
  • The portal world is described by Nix herself as “an industrial-faerie dreamscape” and the goblins and faeries as “part magic, part lore, and part mechanism.” Think: Goblin Market meets Labyrinth with cyberpunk/horror elements.
  • Why did I choose Astoria for my MC’s hometown? For one, The Goonies movie was filmed in the port city; there’s also a trolley tour, shops and art galleries, brewpubs, and misty mountains, beaches, and forests galore. This all adds up to a beautiful, unique, and gloomy atmosphere—the perfect parallel to my Goblin King’s domain.

Manuscript writing stats—Started writing the book proposal (first 100 pages and a 7-page synopsis) in late fall 2019; sent proposal out to publishers in June 2020; sold the book on proposal July 2020; completed MS May 2021; Final word count: 105,505 (approx. 420+ pages).

I’ll be posting insights into the story, setting, characters, and creatures over the next few months. Until then, I’m going to catch up on some pleasure reading in hopes to make a dent in my TBR tower. 😊

The Wisdom of Blood paperbacks are here!

At long last, the #paperback version of #TheWisdomofBlood is now available for purchase (thanks to everyone for your patience)! For buying options, go here.

Also, the English version of the paperback will be available for international purchase at BookDepository.com soon. I’ll update my ordering options page once it is.

SIDE NOTE: I’ll be having a giveaway in a few weeks to celebrate, and will make it a foreign affair this time so anyone can enter. Keep an eye out for that!

Until then, the due date for my Goblin Market/Labyrinth inspired ya-lit urban fantasy is nipping at my heels, so I’ll be laying low online to pound out the last part of the book. Happy reading to everyone, and I’ll see you soon!

My Bloody Valentine Giveaway

Welcome to My Bloody Valentine Giveaway, in celebration of Valentine’s Day and The Wisdom of Blood’s ebook birthday! 🎂🧛🏻💝🦇💟

Check out the prizes up for grabs below, then be sure to enter the rafflecopter for a chance to win one!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PLEASE NOTE: This is a domestic giveaway only. I can’t afford the foreign S&H right now, but I will have a smaller foreign giveaway soon when money’s not so tight, so all my readers will have a chance to win something then!

Good luck to all who enter, and don’t forget to purchase my ebook today, if you’re up for a darkly romantic read. 💋 You can find a free excerpt and buying options on the book’s landing page here. And if you’re waiting for the paperback version, it will be launching in a couple of weeks. I’ll let everyone know here when it’s ready for ordering.

A peek into the worlds of Nocturnus:

Today I’m revealing the #aesthetic and #auditory#inspirations that helped me write and revise #TheWisdomofBlood, my #adultlit#vampirefantasy / #gothicromance that is debuting on Sunday, February 14th.

The #worldbuilding in this book was HUGE, which explains why it’s close to 500 pages. There are three distinct worlds I had to build from the ground up (one of them, literally, because the #vampire realm is located deep beneath the earth’s substratum).

First is Mordecai’s world—#Nocturnus, a labyrinth of subterranean tunnels and canals. Within lives a kindredship of wealthy, ingenious, and beautiful vampires who are ruled by blood, passion and immortality. There’s other beauty in this realm, such as glowing flowers, gondolas, pomegranates, and music. Then, the foil to all this beauty: bloodthirst, savagery, and mutant underlings known as gargoyles.

Next is Gwyndolaire—Lynora’s world: a pristine castle where a sisterhood of vampire halflings hide from the darkness tainting their blood by embracing the sunlight. These sisters are well versed in self-defense, along with the lore of vampires—how they originated from #EgyptianMythology, and the role bats play not only in history but in their daily life. Unlike the kindredship, the sisterhood feeds peacefully, by throwing galas. Wearing gold makeup, they entertain unwitting donors, using hypnosis to drain their blood, then send the attendees safely away … none the wiser.

And lastly is The Cummings’ Asylum for Orphaned Children—young Father Lucien’s world: a townhouse and its occupants being haunted by either a perplexing miracle, or a hellish plague. But Lucien is not your typical priest, and he has his own demons chasing him.

Throughout the story, these very different worlds collide, brought together by the plight of the orphaned children. This final image offers a peek at some of the music that inspired the atmosphere and moods of all three worlds.

Follow this link to the Nocturnus landing page, where you’ll find preordering options, as well as links to my #pinterest board and spotify where you can listen to the #playlist.

Exciting Book Announcements!

Announcement # 1:

My Morpheus prequel story, Alice the Absent, will soon be up for purchase online for those who didn’t get to take part in the preorder festivities for Stain, or who didn’t get to buy Stain’s paperback with the extra content. There’s no preorder or order links yet, so just hang tight. I’ll get that info out there as soon as it’s available. Also, unfortunately, because the story is shorter than a novella, it would be too expensive to print out booklets. So e-book will be the only version available. For a little added fun, I shared a preview of the e-version’s new cover art (designed by me and my awesome son, @iredrayn-IG). I’ll reveal the full cover as soon as the e-book goes live, so keep watching my online venues! Also, I’ll have a giveaway to celebrate when the story launches, and will include some posters of the new cover art, signed by me and my son. 😉

Announcement # 2:

This one is HUGE! For a while I’ve been posting hints of my latest young adult fantasy WiP, a Labyrinth / GoblinMarket inspired urban fantasy with cyberpunk / horror elements. And now I finally have the green light to announce that it’s going to be a duology about an alternate faerie world called Mystiquiel (pronunciation: Mi-steek-ee-L), and will be hitting shelves in fall 2022, thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing, my wonderful agent Jenny Bent, and the fabulous Cindy Loh (editing)! Check out my Publishers Marketplace announcement above for more details. I’m super stoked to start this next chapter in my writing career!

Announcement # 3:

Details forthcoming on a novel I’m editing now. I hope to make it available very soon (in PB and ebook) so readers won’t have to wait two years for a full-sized A.G.Howard read. For added fun, here’s an emoji sneak peek into the novel’s theme: 🦇🧛🏰. I’ll spill all the beans on this one very soon! Until then, stay safe and happy reading!

Stain chosen as a YALSA 2020 Amazing Audio Book for Young Adults!

Thank you to @actor_TIMBRUCE and his incomparable vocal talents for helping #Stain’s audiobook become an official selection of #YALSA’s 2020 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults! From the YALSA (a national association of librarians, library workers and advocates) website: “Each year, YALSA’s Amazing Audiobooks Team selects and annotates an annual list of notable audio recordings significant to young adults from those released in the past two years.”
Check out the image to read a quick review of my #gothicfairytale and the reviewer’s thoughts on Tim Bruce’s incredible performance. If you haven’t read Stain yet, or if you’ve already read it and are up for a reread, consider the audio version. It elevates the experience to a whole new level, as Tim brings my characters to life exactly how I heard them in my mind; we carefully collaborated on each POV’s personality/vernacular/voice and the finished product is #unique, entertaining and #magical! If you’d like to hear an #excerpt or for ordering info, follow this link: https://stainbyaghoward.blogspot.com/p/audio-book.html
BTW, the official audiobook list contains 30 fiction titles chosen out of 63 nominees. To see all 30, go to www.ala.org/yalsa/2020-amazing-audiobooks-young-adults.

Happy Paperback Book Birthday to Stain!

🌟🌟🌟 Top of the #NewYear to you! 🌟🌟🌟 I hope everyone is having a great 2020 so far! I am, and am extra excited today because #Stain’s #paperback has hit the shelves!
So if you’re needing a #prettybook to snuggle with during the chilly #January days and nights, be sure to pick this one up. 📚 As an added bonus, the paperback version of my #gothic #fairytale #fantasy hybrid includes #Morpheus’ prequel story, #AlicetheAbsent (not available for purchase in any other format). 🦋🎩
I’ll drop in again later this month to share some information on the new #urban #YAfantasy I’m working on. Until then, happy reading to all!