Kim McDougall
I have a surprise for you. 

Okay, deep breath.

For the past year, in between writing Valkyrie Bestiary books, I've been building a new world for a new series. That's right. I have a whole new series in the works. My first one in over 5 years. Yikes! It's very scary stuff for me. More details below, but first here's a tiny snippet from the new book:
Three, two, one…

Talos rounded the bend to the south. Right on time. 

He was a mech marvel. Sixty-six feet tall, he could rest his chin on the city wall if he wanted to. Of course, he didn’t. He was just an automaton, a mindless creation of the city founders, from a time when tinkers could create such marvels from metal, gears and wires. For over two centuries, Talos had guarded the walls of New Torwood with measured steps.

And Rowan was the only tinker left who could fix him when he broke down. 

As she watched him approach, she leaned too far over the short railing, and Phalian fluttered at her shoulder, pushing her back to safety. 

“Okay, okay! I just wanted to get a good look? Does he seem to be limping to you?”

The mech bird said, “TWEET!”

Rowan scrutinized Talos. The ground beneath him was packed tighter than stone after centuries of his massive feet pounding out the path each day. His left foot lifted and slammed down. Right foot lifted, paused, and fell. 

Yep, he was definitely limping. 

She’d come out this morning for routine maintenance, but this was going to take longer. The regent wanted her back at the palace by noon for some staff retirement ceremony, but she’d never make it now. 

Oh, well. She grinned fiercely as she got ready to leap. This was so much more fun than a boring old palace party. 

Talos was only a hundred feet away now. Phalian clacked his wings. He hated this part. If Rowan was honest, part of her did too, but mostly, she found it exhilarating. She was never more alive than when she hopped the two-foot gap between the wall and Talos’s shoulder. 

As he came alongside, she sucked in a breath and leaped. 

Don’t look down. Don’t look down

She looked down. 

The drop was sixty-six feet to hard ground. Her stomach twisted. Her foot slipped on Talos's epaulette. Phalian said, “SQUAWK!” Rowan grabbed for an unobtrusive metal handle sticking out of Talos’s shoulder. Her mech arm gave her the extra inch of reach she needed. Black-gloved fingers locked around the handle and she and hung on.
Image created using Adobe's ethical AI

I’m anticipating some questions about this new series, so I’ll be proactive and answer a few right here.

Does this mean no more Valkyrie Bestiary? Let's get this big question out of the way immediately. I’m not abandoning Kyra. Since the very beginning, I have said there will be 9 books in the Valkyrie Bestiary. Book 9 will come out in 2024 and so will the first book in this new series. I haven’t decided which will come first. That will depend on how writing and editing go. 

What’s the title? Right now I have a working title for the new book: A Knack for Metal and Bone. I kind of like it and it places the story right where it belongs from a marketing perspective, in the fantasy romance genre. Unless the story takes a strong deviation that I'm not currently expecting, that title will stand. 

Will it be a series? Yes. I am planning a series, but not in the traditional one character, one story arc sense. There will be several books (right now I’m planning at least 7 books), but they will highlight different characters against the backdrop of a shared world. I don’t yet have a series name.

Is it Urban Fantasy? Well, not technically. But Kyra’s world isn’t technically UF either since it’s set in the near future. I imagine Rowan’s world to be Kyra’s world but hundreds of years in the future and thousands of miles away. There will be reference to a great “resurgence” not unlike the Flood Wars, but these people have devolved to a pre-industrial society, a sort of gas-lamp world that uses magic to fuel its tech.  But it will have the feel of Urban Fantasy, not a medieval or Victorian epic fantasy.

What is the book about? Hmm. That’s a question I often hesitate to answer. It’s easy to be too brief or to ramble out too much detail so the main premise gets lost. But I’ll do my best. Book 1 is about Rowan, the non-ruling Princess and mechanic who has finally been granted her wish by the Regent’s Council to serve her mandatory year in the military. In her first mission, she joins a Ranger squad as the mechanic when they go out into the dangerous Meadows to find a team of scientists who have lost contact with the city. The Meadows are a vast grassland wilderness where monsters roam. Needless to say, the rangers form a tight-knit unit as face many trials along the way, but they discover that coming home might be the biggest danger of all. 

How’s that for a teaser? 

When will book 1 be published? As soon as I finish it. Assuming no personal catastrophes, I plan for book 1 to come out in 2024. As soon as I have a firmer date, you’ll be the first to know!

Got more questions? What do you think of the title and the premise? I’d love to hear from you. You can respond right in the comments or join the discussion with other readers on the FB group.

The holidays are right around the corner. Check out this week’s amazing deals on books to get ready for those cozy holiday nights!

This week in the VB Cage fights: Mountain Devil vs. Harpy! 

This battle is bound to take to the skies as both winged creatures fight for supremacy. Which one has the fortitude to see the battle to the end?

Be sure to join the FB Discussion Group to cast your vote. The first round fights will go on until Christmas. In the New Year, when we get to the finals, we're going to use it as an excuse for an awesome party and give away some stuff!

Book Fairs

The holidays are right around the corner. Check out this week’s amazing deals on books to get ready for those cozy holiday nights! Apart from the online book fairs below, I'm participating in a few in-person local events this fall. You can view those and more online markets on the Book Fairs Page. 

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