This book was written relatively quickly based on the notion that I wanted two characters who were quirky, driven, slightly nuts with big past mental issues and a penchant for improvisation that might include the surgical use of a flamethrower.
It also answers the question Lyle Dufour asked the Shade: Why do Methonians hate AI's so much?
Yes, as of this moment, the book is done and has undergone three phases of editing. I expect one or two more rounds of editing before it's published, which I expect will happen in the next two weeks (but we all know how good I am about predicting this kind of stuff). I also have a lot of the cover art done, so that part (which usually takes me longer than it does to write the book) is mostly done, too.
Still, an odd thing happened between "Once upon a time" and "they lived happily ever after". The story that started out as a rather vague notion took on a life of its own when I had the epiphany of placing it in the Scouts universe of the United Galactic Worlds. At that point something relatively rare happened: I finished it in about six months - with about a four or five month hiatus while I was working on other (sadly still unfinished) books.
2015 was a really awful year for my writing - a move and a concussion didn't help it much.
But happily I'm in a good place now and writing again. Cinder and Ash was fun to write. I think it's a detailed, rich novel that gives an entirely different view of the universe in which the Scouts fly around in the Scoutship Talon - and more insight into the inner workings of both the Shade, and the UGW. It takes place during the same time frame as the events in the first five Scouts novels, and a little after that. Yes, only four are out. The finale of Cinder and Ash takes place after what will happen in Scouts: The Wind Child.
It's not intended to be much of a stand-alone book and might qualify as the sixth book in the Scouts series (Spoiler: The Scouts are in it as minor characters.). But all one needs to do is read the first novel in the Scouts series (Scouts: The Beginning) and they'd understand most of what goes on in this one. Reading the fourth novel (Scouts: On leave) would provide more context.
This is mostly an homage book to the fans who have made Scouts my best-selling books. It's the first book I've written specifically to cater to the fan base and I hope it is met with enthusiasm and good reviews. I think it's one of the better Scouts books, myself.
Look for it in "My Books", and on Amazon, by the end of the month.
[Edit 01/17/2016: Cinder & Ash is now live, and I did manage to do it in about 2 weeks. Will miracles never cease? It's listed here as the 6th book (instead of the 5th) in the series because, well, it is. The 5th book has been started, but it's slow going on the writing. Because this book isn't exactly about the adventures of the Scoutship Talon, though they do make a critical appearance, I thought it was good to go ahead and put it out there before Wind Child since it has no spoilers to speak of, and is an exceptionally fun and often moving read (if I do say so myself).
It's also a longer than normal SCOUTS book, so keep that in mind when you dive into it. But beware, there are some pretty dark rabbit holes in this one...]
Book 6 of the SCOUTS series. Available at: Amazon
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