I just did the paperback formatting for "Contagion". I always find 3 or 4 quirks in the e-book when I paste this up. Believe is or not, Word even has a few bugs. Then I had to re-post the e-book once I had the paperback done. Last night, I finished this book completely, including tagging, getting three wonderful readers to review, sending "free" notices to 150 bloggers, and giving the book away for two days. Whew.
It was a good month; I had record sales for the Jezebel series. Now it's a new month, new book, and we start all over again.
Even though it is the third book in the series, "Queen of the Pirates" is a completely different animal than the others. Though there is a quest to a new land with new magic and lots of action, the central theme is "just because some god names you queen/emperor doesn't mean the people there want you." They like things just the way they are -- with them in control. It doesn't matter if you fell from the sky and look exactly like the picture they painted of the ideal ruler, and pass every test they give you, people will resist. Enter our minor character, Lady Evershade, noblewoman of the first circle, fallen on hard times. The emperor has to pick one candidate from each kingdom, and one of them will become his first wife in the spring. Nightglow, her daughter is one of them. Lady Evershade gets named official chaperone and systematically submarines each candidate. She took over the middle of my book, but it's so LMAO hilarious I'm going with it. It's like watching an ultra-rich cheerleading mom who uses rare jellyfish poisons. Just put her in an important event like the coronation and watch her take over. It gets even funnier when the emperor shows her a small kindness and she takes his banner with religious fervor.
My only worry is whether the dream sex/sex magic scenes are too much. There's a fine line between selling the story with humor and farce. I don't want to ruin the whole series by JarJaring out on this sub-plot thread. For now, I'll just finish it out and edit later. She just arranged for one of the dancers (a fifteen year old) to disobey and get drunk at a museum fund raiser. The whole chapter was a hoot to write with the stuff that popped out of her mouth. "Mom, where are getting the money for all this?"
"From your dowry. Enjoy the shrimp canapes, dear."
"If the wife arrives second, send her through the portrait gallery and signal Nightglow to warn the mistress."
"There's an etiquette for covering who's sleeping with who?"
"Whom, dear. A lady always use proper grammar when spreading slanderous rumors. And yes, society is held together by such rules."
"How do I keep track of all this?"
"Merely lay the guest list within three feet of you, and Lady Vapordoom will tell anyone in range."
Later to Anna.
"My reputation would be improved if you weren't so friendly with me in public."
"So you mind if I call you a heinous b?" she mumbled.
"Not at all, but please enunciate clearly. I put you at the children's table for tonight's meal, and I want all the other nobles to know you like I do."
In short, Lady Evershade has been a royal pain, but she's just too much fun not to follow around with a mental videocamera.