Countdown to Conquest: 1 Big Preview

Greystone Valley SeriesToday is your last day to preorder Conquest of Greystone Valley and get in on the Great Greystone Valley Giveaway! That means we’re on our last preview, so it’s time for something longer.

When Greystone Valley came out, I posted the first chapter as a final preview. Well, this is the second book, so this time I’m going to post the second chapter. Sarah’s back and joined by her friend Carrie, but she’s also joined by her old friends Kay and Dax – who have somehow stumbled into our world. What are they doing here and why doesn’t Sarah remember them? Check out Conquest of Greystone Valley for the full story!

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Countdown to Conquest: 2 Greedy Dwarves

GremlinOn Monday, you’ll be able to get your hands on a copy of Conquest of Greystone Valley! If you preordered as part of the Great Greystone Valley Giveaway, you may also win a prize. In the meantime, with only two more days left on the countdown, it’s time for a somewhat longer preview than before.

I don’t pretend to be as skilled or swift-witted as the late Terry Pratchett, but that doesn’t mean I learned nothing from his decades of smart humor and ability to deconstruct the most clichéd of fantasy conventions. One of the goals of the Greystone Valley novels, though, is to serve as a gateway to other fantasy literature. In particular, a pair of dwarves that Sarah and her friends are destined to meet are meant to borrow a little bit of Pratchett’s style. If you find yourself liking these characters, I highly recommend Pratchett’s Discworld novels or other works. Heck, if you don’t like the characters, I still recommend those books.

Without further ado, here’s an introduction to Etten and Kytar, the first two dwarves Sarah has ever met.

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Countdown to Conquest: 3 Old Friends


Only three more days until the release of Conquest of Greystone Valley! That means only three days left until the end of the Great Greystone Valley Giveaway, and it means it’s time for another sneak preview.

Sarah made a lot of friends in the original Greystone Valley, and some of them are back to join her on a new adventure. Each of her friends has grown and changed a little bit, but they’re still ready to help. Here’s a look at the three old friends joining our heroine on her path.

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Countdown to Conquest: 6 First Lines

GrimjawThere are only six days left until the release of Conquest of Greystone Valley! That means you have only a matter of days to take advantage of the Great Greystone Valley Giveaway! It also means that it’s time for another short preview.

This time around, I’m revealing the opening lines to each of the first six chapters. If you can guess the trajectory of the book from there, good for you! If you’re waiting in suspense to find out more, stay tuned!

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Countdown to Conquest: 7 Characters


We are now a week away from the release of Conquest of Greystone Valley! If you haven’t already gotten in on the Great Greystone Valley Giveaway, you can preorder your copy today and get a chance to win a $25 gift card and a signed hardcover or paperback!

In the meantime, as the countdown has begun, I’m going to preview bits of the novel throughout this week. First up are seven characters who are either brand new in Conquest or who have expanded roles from the original novel:

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The Great Greystone Valley Preorder Giveaway!

Conquest of Greystone Valley

Have you preordered your copy of Conquest of Greystone Valley yet? If not, here’s an extra reason to do so. Anybody who preorders a copy of the novel through Grey Gecko Press before its release on October 31st gets a chance to win some free swag!

One random person will be selected to receive $25 and a signed hardcover copy of Conquest of Greystone Valley. A second person will receive a signed copy of the paperback version of the novel.

To get a chance to win, all you need to do is preorder a copy of the novel in any format through Grey Gecko Press. If you’ve already preordered, you’re already entered!

Stay tuned for more Conquest of Greystone Valley updates in the coming weeks!

Sorry, but I’m Perfectly Happy if my Daughter is a Girly Girl

Princess Crown

“Don’t let your daughter be a girly girl.”

This is something that multiple people have told me. I’ve been warned not to let my daughter dress in pink, not to show her Disney Princess movies, and to generally shelter her from the things that modern society associates with femininity. And while I can see good intentions behind that thinking, I disagree with it.

I recently wrote a novel called Conquest of Greystone Valley, which is targeted toward young adult girls. It’s a sequel to my previous novel, Greystone Valley, which I wrote before I started giving any thought toward gender politics in fiction. This time around, I started thinking about the girly girl conundrum, so to speak.

I hadn’t written Greystone Valley with gender in mind, but I was happy in retrospect that it had several strong role-models for girls. As an author, that’s a good thing – I’ve written stories that don’t pass basics like the Bechdel Test, and it’s kind of a lousy feeling to have that be your blind spot.

However, one thing I did notice about my story is that the protagonist, Sarah, was very much a tomboy. And actually, the most common way that writers make a “strong” female character is to make her more masculine. A good example in Disney films would be Merida and Mulan.

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Conquest of Greystone Valley is Available to Pre-Order!

Conquest of Greystone Valley“Quick! Everybody count your fingers and toes!”

Halloween seems like a long way off, but in less than three months Conquest of Greystone Valley will be on the shelves! The sequel to Greystone Valley, this novel takes Sarah back to the world between worlds, where she and her friends must face a new villain who now rules the valley with an iron fist.

Conquest of Greystone Valley is now available for pre-order through Grey Gecko Press! To see what Sarah and the gang are up to, click the link below and reserve your copy!

Preorder Now:


Image: Jessica von Braun

Conquest of Greystone Valley: Coming Halloween 2016!

Conquest of Greystone Valley

Another bolt of lightning struck Sarah. It tickled this time.

With cover art by the amazing Jessica von Braun and the help of a terrific editorial team at Grey Gecko Press, Conquest of Greystone Valley will soon be on the shelves!

A mysterious new villain has conquered Greystone Valley and done her best to keep Sarah from returning. But armed with friends old and new, she’s ready to enter the world between worlds once again!

Conquest of Greystone Valley will be available for sale on October 31st. In the meantime, keep an eye over at the Grey Gecko Press store, where you’ll have a chance to preorder it soon!


Image: Jessica von Braun

3 Great Novels that Helped Shape Conquest of Greystone Valley

Greystone ValleyThe original Greystone Valley drew inspiration from a wide range of fantasy classics, including The Book of Three, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. As we start to make the transition toward the upcoming sequel, Conquest of Greystone Valley, those influences remain in place. However, there are also a few new additions to the roster of inspirational reading. Here are three books that greatly influenced the direction of the first Greystone Valley sequel. Continue reading