A Surprise Release #TuesdayBookBlog

Ciao, amici! I have an embarrassing story to share. Why would I share something that makes me look bad? Because in hindsight, it’s kind of funny. And it also leads into my surprise. (Although, based on the title of this blog, my news shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone now.)


Not long ago, my publisher asked me about cover images for three upcoming company releases. I’d only edited two of them (I happen to be an editor for my publishing house… long story. Actually, I guess it’s not that long. I both write and edit for them. Now you’re caught up.) In a meeting with the whole company—not a private chat or a memo with a couple of people, but with the ENTIRE staff—I told him I only knew two of the works and couldn’t help with the third.

There was a small pause, then he asked which one I didn’t know, as he thought I’d worked on all of them. I confidently insisted I’d never seen The Scout.

There was a longer pause that time. Then he said, “Staci, you wrote that one.”

You know the shade of red of a ripe raspberry? I’m certain my cheeks were darker.

Go ahead. Laugh at me. I’ll wait.

Here’s the part that made my cheeks go from embarrassed red to frustrated scarlet. In a PRIVATE conversation with me, he told me it was no big deal that I forgot. He said when people write as much and as fast as we do, we’re bound to forget about things we haven’t seen in a while.

Yep. In a private message. Why couldn’t the two be reversed? Or better yet, not have happened to me at all?

But these embarrassing situations led to something good. Namely, the surprise release of another story I wrote.

This is the second time my publisher has released something of mine earlier than I expected. It pays to be ahead of schedule on writing and editing. It means you can slip into empty slots anytime one pops up.

It also means you have to scramble to prepare marketing materials.

I’m not doing the tour-thing for this. It’s a short story, not a novel, and it’s… different than my series.

Were you a fan of Twilight Zone? Do you currently enjoy Black Mirror? If those are your kinds of stories, I’m talking to you.

Let me introduce… The Scout.

The Scout is part of the Invasion Universe. It’s technically even part of the Astral Conspiracy series. But it doesn’t take place in the not-so-distant future. Instead, it takes place in the past. WAY in the past.

Fans of The Gate may not see the immediate relationship between the two works, but I promise you, if you stick with the series, the payoff is worth it. In the meantime, this story reads like a standalone, so it’s the perfect way to dip a toe into the speculative side of the Invasion Universe.


The Scout:

The aliens have landed. The humans are panicking. The scouts have been sent.

J’s mission is clear — find an alien outpost, observe, report back. Simple enough. It’s what he’s trained to do. But he’s always worked with his team, never as a party of one. Now he’s been sent out alone to blindly navigate a dense, dark forest until he finds his target. The dynamics are foreign to him, the stakes never higher. Resources are scarce. Comms are down.

And he’s found the enemy.

J is shocked when everyone’s true allegiances are revealed. And the consequences of betrayal will be deadly.


If you’d like more information, you can find an extended blurb and six teasers at the story’s dedicated page on my site.

And if you’re ready to read it, just click the universal purchase link.


I hope you were as excited (and much less embarrassed) by this surprise release as I was. And if you read it, I look forward to hearing what you think.

Remember, this is a Dark Crossings story—a prequel to The Gate. Regular Astral Conspiracy series releases resume this fall. I’ll keep you posted on those. (I just got edits back today, so book two is around the corner!)

Have a great day, everybody. Arrivederci!

68 thoughts on “A Surprise Release #TuesdayBookBlog

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  1. Oh my goodness, Staci, you are a woman on fire!! Congrats on yet another release! Yes, I can certainly understand your embarrassment. 🙂 But, all’s well that ends well, and that includes a new book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m trying to focus on the “all’s well that ends well” part and suppress my memory lapse. Hopefully this story will tide people over until book two releases. The edits are complete on it (we officially put it to bed yesterday—yay!) so now it’s a matter of time until that one goes live.

      Thanks, Jan.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m considering getting a set of coffee mugs with all the important bits stenciled on them so I see everything every day. (Yes, a spreadsheet would be easier. But not nearly as vital as morning caffeine.) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t written nearly as many books/stories as you, Staci, but while I haven’t forgotten a title (YET), I have totally forgotten some characters. Names, why I created them, how I described them. And on and on. Eeeep. So I can certainly see why you’d fail to recognize a title here or there. 😀 Still, a pretty funny story. And I’m DEFINITELY heading straight over to get this one. (One of these days, I’m even going to catch up on my reviews, too. No, really. I AM!) 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I didn’t keep a detailed story bible for all my work, I’d forget names and locations and all sorts of things. You’re not alone in that. (I guess I’m alone in forgetting an entire story, though. LOL)

      Glad to give you a laugh. Thanks for picking up a copy. I hope you enjoy it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Almost all my novels are dear to my heart for one reason or another, but I am rather pleased with The Gate. And I’m really enjoying writing the rest of the series. Thanks.

        Like

    1. Well, I thought sharing what happened would be more interesting than, “Hey, I’ve got another story out.” And I know this is a safe space, so no one would think too badly of me and my forgetfulness. Hopefully it put a smile on a few faces today,

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Wine, it is! After a bottle or two, I’m sure I won’t remember how stupid I was. (I’ll just be doing other stupid things, but I won’t care!)

      Thanks! I hope you like it. It’s different than The Gate, but it was fun to write.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. hahaha! That was funny. And embarrassing! But at the end? Totally exciting. I wish I had some forgotten story somewhere… I wouldn’t mind the embarrassment if the publisher released something I couldn’t remember writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Betrayal is my new favorite word. It’s the driving force between everything these days.

      Thanks for the support, Judi. I hope you enjoy the story. And thanks for letting me know I’m not alone with forgetting titles!

      Like

    1. Thanks, Jacqui. Last year I really increased production and have a bunch of finished product just waiting for a release date. At some point, I’m going to explode on the market. I think the real issue is titles. I either get one immediately or I struggle to name a story until the very end. So when my boss asked my about The Scout (a title that took me forever to come up with and I thought it was a working title, so I didn’t commit), I had a complete blank on it. And I didn’t think it was coming out until the end of the year, so my mind was nowhere near this tale when he asked about it.

      Excuses, excuses. Never mind.

      I forgot, plain and simple. But it was a happy surprise. Much better than, “Hey, dummy. Your deadline was three weeks ago. Where’s your draft?” and I’m on chapter one. (Thank God that’s never happened to me!) So, yeah—this was definitely a happy surprise. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I understand why you were embarrassed, but you have to admit it IS really funny. Sometimes we just have to laugh at ourselves, and as busy as you are it’s understandable how this one could have slipped through.Thanks for giving us all a chuckle.

    I’m super excited (and all in a tither again) now that I can go grab this from Amazon. Way to go!
    I know it will be awesome. And can I just say, that cover is freaking dramatic. Congratulations all the way around!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is funny. And I’m the first to laugh at myself, so I didn’t mind sharing. (Well, 99%; 1% of me told me it was foolish to share such a weakness. But she’s a party-pooper, so I ignore her most of the time.)

      The cover is dramatic. I had hoped the cover would mimic the Astral Conspiracy series covers, but that was before I realized this was a whole series of shorts sharing a design commonality. (I really didn’t have my ducks in a row on this story. Geez.) Now that I know all the covers look like this, I’m glad mine didn’t deviate. (Not that I’d have won that argument, anyway.) And honestly, I think I have the coolest cover of all of them. (But that could be personal bias.)

      So glad you’re in a tither again! Thanks, Mae.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was probably a situation that never happened before. Leave it to me to be the first for that!

      I can see why you’d like that cover. Now that you said so, I feel like it was designed with you in mind. All the covers follow that format (and all the stories are speculative), so you might find a new series you enjoy. I edited a few of these Invasion stories and a bunch for an earlier collection. There are whole compilations before this, so you might want to look for those.

      I’ll take off my marketing hat now. Sorry. Thanks, Teri. I hope you like The Scout!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I do that, too. Or I open my back hatch.

        When I was in high school, my then-boyfriend/now-husband and I were at the mall to pick up his skis and boots. We left when the mall closed to find his car was stolen. It was before cell phones and we were lugging skis, boots, and bags as we trudged all around the outside of the mall looking for anyone to let us inside to call for help. As we hiked and hiked and hiked, we never found someone to let us in. We did, however, find his car… on the complete opposite side of the sprawling mall. We’d exited the wrong door and neither of us noticed. It was exhausting, but at least we weren’t embarrassed by getting help and reporting it stolen.

        I guess my cluelessness goes back further than I realized. 🤭

        Like

  5. I did laugh, but because it could easily happen to anyone. And as he said when you write and edit as much as you do, it’s no wonder you forgot. I loved The Gate and I look forward to reading this one!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It felt like a senior moment, which I wanted badly to be too young to have. But alas, I’m not. In hindsight, it is amusing. (And it helps that my boss wasn’t angry or let down by my stupidity.)

      Thanks for the kind words about The Gate. I hope you enjoy The Scout.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I love that you can relate and I’m over the moon with your enthusiasm for The Gate. I hope you enjoy The Scout, but remember… it’s a little different. (That’s code for “manage your expectations” as the genre jumped into speculative.) Thanks, Harmz!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Apparently I DON’T keep track of everything. But it all worked out in the end.

      I hope you enjoyed The Gate. The Scout is a little different, but I hope you like it, too. Thanks, Irene. Nice to see you. (You must be busy; haven’t seen you in a while.)

      Liked by 1 person

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