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Upcoming events of awesomeness!

Marie Brennan

It has been bonkers around here for the last two months or so, with a nigh-constant stream of interviews and promotional events. That’s slacking off at last, but there are two more coming up that I want to particularly draw attention to . . .

First, this Sunday, February 28th, we’re getting the band back together! Myself, Alyc, my husband, and two friends of ours from my grad school days (Emily Dare and fellow author Michael R. Underwood) are getting together for a Rook and Rose Blades in the Dark tabletop game. We all used to game together back in Bloomington — and in fact, the only reason I use the past tense there is that Mike doesn’t live out in the Bay Area with the rest of us, so he’s not in our current gaming group. But he’s offered to GM a one-shot game this Sunday, from 6 p.m. Eastern/3 p.m. Pacific until about three hours later, which will be streaming live on Twitch. (My first time doing this kind of thing for an audience, eek!) We’ll be playing members of the Oyster Crackers, an Upper Bank knot of thieves that appear briefly in The Liar’s Knot; I suspect we may run into the Rook. But I have no idea! It’s in Mike’s hands! This feels so weird and so awesome at the same time!

And second, on Wednesday, March 10th, Alyc and I will be doing an event with Tubby & Coo’s, a great independent bookstore in New Orleans. This is set up courtesy of fellow author Bryan Camp, a New Orleans local; we’ll have a reading and a conversation with him. That’s at 6 p.m Central, which is 7 p.m. Eastern and 4 p.m. Pacific.

. . . plus some more interviews, but those are more of a “record it and then it’ll go live later” kind of thing. Oof. Full court press in promoting The Mask of Mirrors has been fun, but it’s also tiring, y’all.

A deleted scene from The Mask of Mirrors!

Marie Brennan

I posted about this on Twitter a little while ago, but for those who either don’t follow our joint account or missed it in the general flood of Twitter-ness (all too easy to do): we’ve added to this site a scene we cut from The Mask of Mirrors. It originally took place late in the book — Chapter 19 of 24 — so I don’t recommend clicking through if you haven’t read the novel yet, as it is very full of spoilers. But if you have read it, enjoy!

Will you trust THE LIAR’S KNOT?

Marie Brennan

We are delighted to announce that the second book of the Rook and Rose trilogy will be called . . .

The Liar’s Knot

Like The Mask of Mirrors, this is a card from the pattern deck. It’s the card of trust . . . and also the card of betrayal, depending on whether its position is revealed or veiled.

Our characters? Having trust issues? And maybe betraying or being betrayed? Nah.

Currently it’s slated to come out in November — yes, of this year! We’re doing our best not to keep you all waiting for the next set of twists and turns. Stay tuned here for more news, or sign up for the newsletter to get goodies while you wait!

THE MASK OF MIRRORS IS OUT + where to find us in the next month

Marie Brennan

The time has come, the walrus said, to celebrate the fact that The Mask of Mirrors is out at last!

cover art for The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick

Now we begin to enact the ritual dance of the Author With a New Book Out — which is to say, our schedule is chock-full of Things we are doing for promotion. Right now you can find our Big Idea piece up at John Scalzi’s blog and our My Favorite Bit piece up at Mary Robinette Kowal’s, not to mention the various other interviews and podcasts we’ve been lining up for the last two months. But that’s not all — we’ve also got several events coming up in the near future!

TONIGHT, at 7 p.m. Pacific, we’ll be doing a joint event with Christopher Paolini at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore. Signed and personalized books are available!

On Thursday, January 21st, at 6 p.m. Pacific, we will be doing a joint event with Andrea Stewart (author of The Bone Shard Daughter) at Orbit Live. This event will also be made available on YouTube afterward, for those who aren’t able to attend.

We will be doing an AMA at r/Fantasy on Tuesday, January 26th — so if you have questions you’d like to ask, get ’em ready!

Marie will also be teaching a workshop on how to do public readings of your work, through the auspices of the Dream Foundry.

On Wednesday, February 3rd, at 7 p.m. Pacific, Marie will be reading at The Story Hour.

And finally (for now, anyway), Marie will be participating in virtual Boskone, from February 12th-14th! Precise programming schedule TBA.

Go forth and tell everyone the book is out! We know the world is very full of other stuff going on right now, much of it bad and more important for the general state of the world than the publication of a fantasy novel . . . but also, live goes on at the same time, and so does work. Pandemics and white supremacists be damned — we want to enjoy this moment!

And YOU get a book, and YOU get a book, and YOU get a book!

Marie Brennan

Y’all, there are so many giveaways right now for The Mask of Mirrors. In no particular order:

* Alyc and I are asking people to design a Rook and Rose cocktail and mocktail! (We want something celebratory to drink on the book’s release day.) You have until noon Pacific on Monday the 18th to send us a recipe for either one or both, with the only real restriction being that Alyc loathes all forms of gin, so probably best to avoid that. We’ll choose one winner in each category and send them a signed copy of The Mask of Mirrors, along with one of the gorgeous bookplates Orbit had made! (US only — our apologies to people overseas, though we still welcome recipe suggestions from you.) You can post your recipes here or on Twitter or Facebook, or send them via our site.

* Beneath Ceaseless Skies is running their own giveaway, ending Wednesday the 13th. All you have to do is respond to that post with your favorite caper/thief story published in BCS (and there’s a list of candidates to get you started). And in case you missed it, they have a Rook and Rose short story, too!

* And our publisher is running a giveaway, too! This one is open to both US residents and UK residents, with separate portals for each. That goes through the end of the month.

* Finally, you’ve got about two days left (as of this post going live) to enter a Booksweeps giveaway for fifty epic fantasy novels, The Mask of Mirrors included! That one ends in the wee hours of the morning for U.S. residents on Thursday the 14th.

Truly, The Face of Stars is the card of good luck

Marie Brennan

Alyc and I have netted a STARRED review from Booklist for The Mask of Mirrors! The choice quote:

“For those who like their revenge plots served with the intrigue of The Goblin Emperor, the colonial conflict of The City of Brass, the panache of Swordspoint, and the richly detailed settings of Guy Gavriel Kay.”

. . . yeah, I’m basically rolling around in that like catnip.

The book comes out January 19th, which feels like it’s foreeeeeeeeeever from now. You can pre-order it here!

This post originally appeared on SwanTower.com.

Songs in 5?

Marie Brennan

I need recs for INSTRUMENTAL music (no lyrics, or at least not in English) written in some form of quintuple meter: 5/4, 5/8, something more arcane, whatever. Songs which are only partially in such a meter are acceptable, though, y’know, not some complicated jazzy thing where it’s like a measure here and three measures there and so forth; I’d like it to be recognizably quintuple without following along on the score to see where it changes.

This post originally appeared on SwanTower.com.

Rook and Rose Book 2, Chapter 25 – FINIT

Marie Brennan

We are done!

With some twists we didn’t quite expect, all the way up to the very end. (Well, some of them were twists we knew would happen eventually; we just figured that would be third-book stuff.) It is always a good sign when we make ourselves bust out laughing — even if sometimes we’re laughing at what we’re putting our poor, long-suffering characters through.

And now? We flop.

Word count: 198,268
Authorial sadism: There were consequences to that trick.
Authorial amusement: Does somebody have a sweetheart?
BLR quotient: This is the middle book of a trilogy, so it ends on a darker note than before. Rhetoric is staging a defensive action against blood, but some slips through the cracks anyway. Love will hold the line, though.

This post originally appeared on SwanTower.com.

Rook and Rose Book 2, Chapter 24

Marie Brennan

One! Chapter! Left!

True to previously-established form, we wrote this one in a single day — though it was a bit less heavy lifting this time, because the chapter wound up running short. By which I mean it’s just under 6K, and will probably tip over that line once we add in some more detail we rushed past in our initial race to get to the exciting bits. I recognize that this is not a “short” chapter by most people’s standards, but ours are mostly in the 7500-8500 range, so this is noticeably below.

Which is fine. The thrilling climax would not be made more thrilling by the addition of padding. And since we’ve spent this whole book trying to make sure things don’t balloon up above the range we’re supposed to keep to, this just means we’ve bought ourselves more breathing room to add in all the descriptive stuff we’ve been short-changing throughout (not on purpose, just mostly because it’s a sequel and we forget we need to re-establish things).

So all that’s left is the denouement. And a couple of earlier bits we need to polish up, so we can truly feel like we’ve got a finished draft when it’s done.

Word count: ~190,000
Authorial sadism: A chance to solve a problem forever . . .
Authorial amusement: A fistful of charms, and someone being puzzled by their own hesitation.
BLR quotient: Oh so much blood. But not nearly as much as there could have been, if the characters were just a little harder-hearted.

This post originally appeared on SwanTower.com.